The demand for fine and ultra-fine grinding associated with the processing of more challenging, finer grained orebodies and the global driver of minimising energy consumption has been an increased focus in our industry. Outotec’s stirred milling technology, the high intensity grinding mill (HIGmill™), was launched in 2012 in response to this industry need. First Quantum Minerals Ltd selected HIGmill™ technology for its Kevitsa mine in Northern Finland. The 700 kW mill is grinding copper rougher concentrate to improve copper/nickel separation and copper recovery. Selection of the HIGmill™ followed mineralogy analysis and laboratory and pilot testing for HIG milling in parallel with flotation tests to determine optimum grind size and energy input.
The paper discusses the challenges and successes of the test work, manufacture, installation, commissioning and subsequent operation of the mill. Grinding performance is presented and a comparison between predicted and operating energy efficiency is made. In addition, the various steps to optimise wear rate and minimise maintenance and downtime are made, with particular reference to internal geometry of the mill.
Nielsen, B, Lehto, H and Musuku, B, 2016. Design, Installation, Commissioning and Operation of Fine Grinding Technology at the Kevitsa Mine, in Proceedings 13th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference 2016, pp 59–66 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).