The Mogalakwena North Concentrator of Anglo Platinum Operations was built with the capability to allow for future projected expansion. Several research groups, currently working with Anglo American on collaborative research over a range of projects, were brought in to review the existing operation, with a view to releasing some specific bottlenecks and providing specialist design input to the potential plant expansion.
Based on a thorough review of the high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) and crushing circuit, a wide range of de-bottlenecking opportunities were identified. This was followed by a series of surveys to provide performance measurements and to model the circuit in detail. From this effort a full simulation of the plant has been developed, including updated models of the HPGR, crusher, bins and screens. These models have been implemented in the researchers’ Model Development Kit (MDK) version of JKSimMet, and in a prototype dynamic simulator based on the Matlab Simulink software.
The observations, measurements and simulations have provided guidance and quantified the benefits of some proposed circuit modifications. Based on these findings a number of upgrades are being planned, with the aim of ensuring full utilisation of the installed equipment. The circuit demonstrates a potential expansion of over 30 per cent through minor improvements, and a 70 per cent increase in capacity with the addition of some strategic equipment.
The HPGR-crushing upgrade project demonstrates the potential benefits of nurturing disparate Research groups into a strong inter-disciplinary technical team capable of supporting operational needs while developing future technology.
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circuits, in Proceedings 11th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, pp 81-94 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).