Comminution circuits for compact itabirites

Abstract In the beneficiation of compact Itabirites, crushing and grinding account for major operational and capital costs. As such, the study and development of comminution circuits have a fundamental importance for feasibility and optimization of compact Itabirite beneficiation. This work makes a comparison between comminution circuits for compact Itabirites from the Iron Quadrangle. The circuits developed are: a crushing and ball mill circuit (CB), a SAG mill and ball mill circuit (SAB) and a single stage SAG mill circuit (SSSAG). For the SAB circuit, the use of pebble crushing is analyzed (SABC). An industrial circuit for 25 million tons of run of mine was developed for each route from tests on a pilot scale (grinding) and industrial scale. The energy consumption obtained for grinding in the pilot tests was compared with that reported by Donda and Bond. The SSSAG route had the lowest energy consumption, 11.8kWh/t and the SAB route had the highest energy consumption, 15.8kWh/t. The CB and SABC routes had a similar energy consumption of 14.4 kWh/t and 14.5 kWh/t respectively.