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SAG milling & grinding pilot plants

Fundamental step quite challenging at small scale

Most hard rock ore bodies will need a wet grinding stage during piloting to facilitate mineral liberation prior to downstream processing. As the required milling particle size distributions (PSDs) do not conveniently scale down to suit small scale processing, matching the mill size and type with the appropriate media charge to achieve the required mass throughput cannot be taken for granted in pilot plant operations. The same applies for the integrated mill product classification circuit (i.e. screening or hydro-cyclone). ALS has an extensive pilot grinding capability together with years of experience in operational techniques to bring the pilot milling circuit into equilibrium as soon as possible, thereby maximising precious sample mass for downstream operations.


Pilot grinding services

Every pilot plant project will have different requirements insofar as sample characteristics, throughput, and feed and product PSDs, which results in a different grinding circuit almost every time. Thus, achieving the correct pilot grinding solution requires a large equipment inventory together with a flexible approach and requisite expertise to build and operate the plant. The main factors involved are outlined below:

Grinding mills: There is no one size fits all when it comes to grinding and many different mills are required to achieve a range of applications. Broadly, ALS holds the following pilot mill types and sizes in inventory:

Feed arrangements & slurry handling: No mill can operate without the appropriate before and after materials handling arrangements. ALS has a range of different sized feed hoppers and belt/screw feeders to match the mill size. Similarly, a range of slurry pumps in various sizes is available to handle mill slurry product including: Open bowl Sala and Metso pumps, Warman AH Slurry pumps, Bredle peristaltic hose pumps and Sandpiper peristaltic diaphragm pumps. In combination, the above equipment can meet most grinding solutions.

Classification systems: Closed circuit classification to emulate industrial scale practice is imperative for pilot scale operations. Typically, this falls into two main categories:

Need more information or want to devise a specific grinding circuit?

ALS can meet your needs and can also leverage off vendors for specific or non-conventional equipment items.

Please contact us for further details.

Here are some frequently asked questions

Associated testwork services

Related testwork

Grinding always precedes other processes, both at bench scale and pilot scale that may include:

Click on the above links or contact us for further information. We can integrate a full program for you if required.