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Influence of pebble mill operating conditions on measurements with an in-mill sensor

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2011, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 193-197

Alatalo, J.; Palsson, B.I.; Tano, K.


Autogenous grinding is a process of reducing the particle size distribution of an extracted ore by using the ore itself as the grinding media. It is a process that is difficult to control and there is a lack of knowledge of the events occurring inside the mill. To find out more about how the mill behaves under different processing conditions, a full factorial test was performed with iron ore in a pilot-scale pebble mill at the LKAB R&D facility in Malmberget. To complement this work, a strain gauge detector was embedded in one of the mill’s rubber lifters, the Metso Minerals continuous charge measurement (CCM) system, and was used to get more information about the charge dynamics. The data from the experiments has been analyzed. For production purposes, an increase in the number of particles smaller than 45 µm can be regarded as a probable increase in the production rate. The analysis shows that there will be an increase in fines at 65% of critical speed, especially when the mill is 45% full. This setting will also increase the power consumption, but improves the grindability of the ore even more. The deflection of the lifters is smaller for lower critical speeds. A higher degree of filling also gives a smaller toe angle and a higher shoulder angle as expected.