Case study

How we helped a copper mine secure more than twice their annual grinding media budget in term of additional revenue

Copper mining - Secured recovery

Our client was examining ways of reducing its operating costs and approached Magotteaux to determine if a lower chrome ball could be used in its ball mill to reduce grinding media costs.

1
Client request

Investigate the effect of alloy optimization on recovery of copper

 

2
Proposal

A proposal to reduce the chrome content of the grinding media was presented and agreed upon. The expected cost saving was of $200,000 per annum. The client indicated that, should the plant suffer a loss in copper recovery, they would revert to the initial chrome content of the grinding media.

3
Monitoring

The pulp chemistry was monitored continuously during the purge using PCM®

 

The pulp chemical data collected was examined on a fortnightly basis to determine if there were changes in the chemistry, and if these changes in chemistry had an adverse effect on the copper recovery. 

The analysis clearly showed that the copper recovery had decreased by at least 1.3 % with the change of the grinding media. This represented a gross loss in revenue of $9.0 million USD per annum.

4
Result

Magotteaux solution : define alloy to stabilize recoveries

These conclusion were presented to our customer and the site immediately requested Magotteaux to supply the original grinding media with the higher chromium content.

 

 

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