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HPGR comminution for optimization of copper leaching

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2011, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 77-81

Baum, W.; Ausburn, K.


High-pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) are an accepted, but continuously expanding, comminution technology. The copper industry has a growing need to process harder ores with progressively lower grades, more challenging metallurgy and increasing demand for efficient bacterial leaching applications. This has resulted in a major focus on HPGR use in a crushing circuit. If the industry is to increase leach extraction while lowering energy costs in high-throughput hydrometallurgical operations, HPGR will be of inherent significance. The following paper summarizes test work on copper leach ores utilizing the benefits of HPGR comminution, while increasing several critical metallurgical parameters. Based on the current work and previous investigations, it was found that HPGR comminution within a crushing circuit, in specific instances, can result in 2 - >10% increases in copper extraction. The tested variables are crush size, rock type and copper mineralogy dependence. Various other process parameters may also be optimized.