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A simple estimation method of materials

handlingspecificenergyconsumptioninHPGR
circuits
AlexDoll
Sagmilling.com,Canada

ABSTRACT
Multistagecrushingplants,includinghighpressuregrindingroll(HPGR)circuits,requiremore
materials handling equipment than SAG and ball mill circuits. The energy consumption of
materials handling are sometimes neglected when doing preliminary assessment or desktop
studycomparisonsofHPGRversusSAGmillingcircuitsbecauseestimationofmaterialshandling
power requirements can demand significant general arrangement drafting that is not available
whenperformingpreliminaryassessmentstudies.
The largest component of materials handling power is consumed by conveyors when lifting
materialbetweenstagesofcrushing,meaningthatasimplepotentialenergymodelcanbeusedto
evaluateconveyingspecificpowerconsumption.Thispotentialenergyconsumptionforconveying
canthenbefactoredtoprovideoverallmaterialshandlingspecificenergyconsumptionsuitablefor
desktop studies of HPGR and other multistage crushing circuits. The technique also permits
differentcrushingcircuitflowsheetstobeevaluated,atapreliminarylevel,bysimplycountingthe
numberoftimesaconveyor must "lift" orefrom groundlevelup to abinorother equipment
mounteduphigh.
Somecommentsaboutcircuitdesignandancillarysystemsareofferedwiththegoalofimproving
theeffectivenessofpreliminaryassessmentcircuittradeoffstudiesofHPGRversusSAGmills.

Keywords:Studies,HPGR,conveying,materialshandling

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INTRODUCTION
Tradeoffstudiesofmultistagecrushingplantsinvolvinghighpressuregrindingrolls(HPGRs)
versussemiautogenousgrinding(SAG)millcircuitstypicallyfocusontheoperatingcostsavings
ofcrushingplantsversusthecapitalcostsavingsofSAGmillplants.Veryhighlevel(ordesktop)
studiesofthistypedonotincludeagreatdealofengineeringwork,meaningthatthedetails(and
costs) of ancillary systems are often not captured when doing the comparisons. The more
complicatednatureofthemultistagecrushingplantsmeanstherearemoreancillarysystemsthan
aSAGmillplant,riskingaskewedanalysisoftheoperatingcosts,benefitingtheHPGRoption.
Oneoftheancillarysystemsthatmaybeoverlookedisthemorecomplicatedconveyingsystems
inherentinmultistagecrushingplants.Duetothemassofmaterialbeinghandledinlargemining
operations,theseconveyorsbecomeasignificantportionoftheoperatingcosts.Asimplewayto
estimate the specific energy consumption of conveying systems without requiring engineering
drawingsandasitelayoutwouldallowhighlevelstudiestocapturethisoperatingcost.
Conventional conveyor power draw calculations are complicated. Examples are the Conveyor
EquipmentManufacturersAssociationmethod(CEMA,2007)orthemethodintheSMEMineral
ProcessingHandbook(Hays&VanSlyke,1985).Whatisneededforhighlevelstudiesisamuch
simplermethodthatgivesacloseenoughapproximationoftheconveyorsystempowerdemand.

METHODOLOGY

ExistingOperations
TwoexistingoperationsareconsideredtobereasonabletemplatesformostbasemetalHPGRplant
designs:CerroVerdeinPeru(CVinFigure1)andBoddingtoninAustralia(BinFigure2).The
crushingcircuitconfiguration atBoddington issuited toanorewithasmallquantity offines,
meaningalltheprimarycrushedoreisfeddirectlytothesecondarycrusher,theproductofwhich
isscreenedwithoversizepassingbacktothesecondarycrusher.TheoreatCerroVerdecontains
morefines,anditisadvantageoustoperformwholeorescreeningwithonlytheoversizepassingto
thesecondarycrusher,theproductofwhichispassedbacktothescreen.

TheHPGRandfineoreunitoperationsoftheBoddingtonandCerroVerdecircuitsarethesamefor
thepurposesofahighlevelstudy. Theliteraturereportsthatthefinescreencirculatingloadat
CerroVerdeis95%110%(Koskietal,2011)andthefinescreencirculatingloadatBoddingtonis
80%(Hartetal,2011).Theseareroundedoffto100%circulatingload(meaningtheHPGRfeedrate
isdoublethefeedratetotheoverallcircuit). Bothoperationsemploywetscreeningoffineore,
meaningthatthefinescreenoversizeconveyors(CV06&B06)arehandlingdampmaterial.This
conveyorwouldhavetobeenclosedandheatedincoldconditions(whicharenotconsideredin
thisstudy).

Someadditionalassumptionscanbeintroducedtosimplifythemassbalancingofthesecircuits.
Thesecondaryscreen(withroughly50mmopenings)willhaveacirculatingloadof66%(meaning
theoversizeflowis0.66timestherateoffreshfeedfromthecoarseorestockpile)regardlessof
whetherthesecondarycircuitisdirect(Boddington)orreverse(CerroVerde).

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Figure 1 Block flow diagram of the Cerro Verde circuit, indicating major flows

Figure 2 Block flow diagram of the Boddington circuit, indicating major flows

SimplifyingAssumptions

Onlylargetonnageplantsareconsidered,suchascopperporphyries(layoutsofsmall
plants, such as in the diamond industry, do not fit this assumption). The nominal
throughputisassumedtobe4500t/h,approximately100kt/d.

Only two types of multistage crushing and HPGR plants will be considered,
correspondingtoBoddington(orecontainingfewfines)andCerroVerde(orecontaining
significantfines).

Theprimarycrusherandcoarseorestockpileisneglected,asitisacommonfeatureof
HPGRandSAGmillbasedcircuits.

Thesiteisflat,andalltopsofthemajorstructures(bins,stockpiles,crusherfeedhoppers)
areatthesameelevation.Theoverallliftisassumedtobe30mforallconveyors.

Thesitelayoutiscompactandtheconveyorsarenotusedtotransportoreforsignificant
lateral distances beyond what is necessary to lift the ore into the next unit operation.
Conveyor1isassumedtobe350mlong,conveyors2,3and4areassumedtobe200m
long,andconveyors5and6areassumedtobe400mlong.

Thecirculatingloadofthecoarseorescreen(closesthesecondarycrusher)is66%.

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Thecirculatingloadofthefineorescreen(closestheHPGR)is100%.

All conveyor motors are fixedspeed motors with aggregate 90% motor and gearbox
efficiency.

ConveyorPowerDraw

Conveyor sizing calculations were run using a method similar to the SME Mineral Processing
handbook(Hays&VanSlyke,1985).ThisSMEmethodisabitoldandthemaximumbeltsizeitis
capableofusingissixtyinches(1.5m).Multiplebeltsareassumedtobeusedanytimethecapacity
ofastreamexceedsthecapabilityofthatmaximumbeltwidth.Becausetheseresultsareconverted
intoafactoredspecificenergyconsumptionestimate,thefactorsdonotchangewhenmultiplebelts
areused(thereisnooperatingcosteconomyofscalebenefittousingonebeltversustwo;any
suchbenefitswouldapplytothecapitalcost).Conventionalconveyorpowerdrawcangenerallybe
dividedintotwocategories:

Thepowerrequiredtolifttheconveyorloaduptoaspecifiedheight,and

everythingelse.

Theeverythingelsecategoryincludestherollingfrictionofthebelt,bothloadedandunloaded,
thebendingfrictionattheendandtakeuppulleys,thefrictionassociatedwithskirtingandbelt
cleaning,andanyothersourcesofpowerlossnotrelatedtothechangeinelevationoftheconveyor
load.Bymakingsomesimplifyingassumptionsaboutthesitelayout,allthesecanbelumpedintoa
factorappliedtothepowerrequiredtolifttheconveyorload.

The energy required to lift the conveyor load of mass m to a specified height h is simply the
potentialenergyofthatmassatthatheight,givenby

E=mhg (1)

where, E isthepotentialenergyinJoules, m isthemassinkg, h istheheightinm,and g isthe


gravitationalconstant,approximately9.807m/s.Metallurgiststypicallydon'tuseenergyinterms
ofJoules,preferringtheformpowertime:kilowatthours.DividingEasJoulesby3.60givesEas
kWh.

InsertingunitvaluesofliftingonetonnebyonemetreintoEquation1givesaunitenergyof2.724
kWht1m1.Specificenergyconsumption(SEC),askWh/t,isobtainedsimplybymultiplyingby
theheightthataconveyorlifts,thevalueh.

The results of the detailed conveyor sizing calculations compared to the specific energy
consumptionduetoliftingmaterialarepresentedinTable1.Allconveyormotorsweresizedusing
theSME method with an extra25% allowance for ancillary power draw,such as unaccounted
trippersandconveyorsintransferpoints. Thelayoutofconveyor4isverydifferentinthetwo
existingplants:Boddingtonhasasingleconveyordirectlyconnectingthecoarsescreeningareato
theHPGRbins,whereasCerroVerdehasthecoarsescreenoversizeconveyedupandthroughtwo

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90transfers,thenupagaintodischargeintotheHPGRfeedbins(effectively,doublethedistance
andheightoftheequivalentstreamatBoddington).ThekeyoutputofTable1isthedetermination
ofwhatproportionofaconveyor'spowerisnotrelatedtothechangeinelevationoftheload.The
aggregatetotalsuggeststhatthetotalconveyorpower,asmeasuredatthemotorinput,is1.85times
thepowerrequiredtolifttheconveyorload(alternatively,liftingis55%oftheconveyorpower
draw,everythingelseis45%).

Table 1 Conveyor power draw, SEC versus SEC to lift conveyor load

Motor Power, Throughput, SEC of conveying, SEC of lifting, Factor,


input kW t/h kWh/t kWh/t total SEC:lift SEC
Conveyor Lift,
N m B CV B CV B CV B CV B CV

1 30 701 701 4500 4500 0.16 0.16 0.08 0.08 1.91 1.91
2 30 1069 427 7470 2970 0.14 0.14 0.08 0.08 1.75 1.76
3 30 426 426 2970 2970 0.14 0.14 0.08 0.08 1.75 1.75
4 30/60 636 1271 4500 4500 0.14 0.28 0.08 0.16 1.73 1.73
5 30 1480 1480 9000 9000 0.16 0.16 0.08 0.08 2.01 2.01
6 30 724 724 4500 4500 0.16 0.16 0.08 0.08 1.97 1.97

overall 0.49 0.57 1.85 1.85



based on 0.90 conversion motor input:output based on as-conveyed tonnes.

CompositeCirculatingLoad

Thedegreeofrecirculationwithinthecrushingcircuitwillaffectthepowerrequirement.Asimple
measureofhowmuchmaterialtheconveyoristransportingisneededtoaccountfortheenergy
consumedwhenrecirculatingmaterialwithinthecircuit.

Table 2 demonstrates a throughputindependent proportion of feed rate, effectively, the


circulating load+ 100%for each conveyor. Numerically, thisis thethroughputof aconveyor
dividedbythecircuitfreshfeedrate.Averagingtheproportionvalueofalltheconveyorswithin
thecircuityieldsacompositeproportionthatcanapplytoawholecircuit(thiscanbethoughtofas
thetypicalconveyorintheplantseesthiscompositethroughput).Itturnsoutthatthisvalueisa
property of the circuit flowsheet: a circuit similar to Boddington will have a typical conveyor
carryingafactorof122%timesthecircuitfeedrate,andtheequivalentvalueforCerroVerdeis
105%.

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Table 2 Conveyor feed rates as proportion of circuit fresh feed

Throughput, t/h Proportion of fresh feed


Conveyor
N B CV B CV

1 4500 4500 100% 100%


2 7470 2970 166% 66%
3 2970 2970 66% 66%
4 4500 4500 100% 100%
5 9000 9000 200% 200%
6 4500 4500 100% 100%

overall 122% 105%

ConveyorSpecificEnergyConsumptionbyaSimplifiedFactoringMethod

The pieces of a simplified factoring method for crushing plant conveyor specific energy
consumptionarenowallinplace. Howhightheconveyorsmustlifttheirload,thespecific
energyconsumptionofthischangeinpotentialenergyfortheload,andtheoverallconveyorpower
factorversuspotentialenergyofliftingisgiveninTable1.Howmuchmaterialisconveyedis
measuredusingtheproportionoffeedisgiveninTable2.CombiningtheseelementsinTable3
givestheestimatedspecificenergyconsumptionofindividualconveyorsandforanentirecircuit.

TheSECofconveying,kWh/tonafreshfeedbasis,iscalculatedusingEquation2:

E = h 2.724 (Proportion of fresh feed / 100) 1.85 1000 (2)

AsignificantobservationisthatEquation2worksforindividualconveyors,andalsofortheoverall
plantifthecumulativeliftofallconveyorstagesisused.Thissimplifiesdesktopstudiesasitisnot
necessarytoaccountforeveryconveyor,onlythesumoftheliftingdonebyallconveyors.

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Table 3 Conveyor SEC estimated by simplified factoring method

Conveyor Proportion of fresh Conveyor total SEC of conveying,


N Lift, m SEC of lifting feed power factor fresh feed basis

B CV B CV B CV B CV B CV

1 30 30 0.08 0.08 100% 100% 1.85 1.85 0.15 0.15


2 30 30 0.08 0.08 166% 66% 1.85 1.85 0.25 0.10
3 30 30 0.08 0.08 66% 66% 1.85 1.85 0.10 0.10
4 30 60 0.08 0.16 100% 100% 1.85 1.85 0.15 0.30
5 30 30 0.08 0.08 200% 200% 1.85 1.85 0.30 0.30
6 30 30 0.08 0.08 100% 100% 1.85 1.85 0.15 0.15

overall 180 210 0.49 0.57 122% 105% 1.85 1.85 1.11 1.11

Anotherinterestingobservationisthattheoverallconveyingspecificenergyconsumptionwon't
change whether a Boddington or Cerro Verde style circuit is chosen (both are 1.11 kWh/t).
Boddington has less lifting of ore than Cerro Verde (fewer transfer points), but a Boddington
conveyortypicallyagreaterloadthatcompletelycancelsoutthedifferenceinelevationchangeof
ore.

RESULTSANDDISCUSSION
The specific energy consumption of conveying a finespoor ore, such as Boddington, can be
estimatedbyEquation3,andthespecificenergyconsumptionofafinesrichore,suchasCerro
Verde,canbeestimatedbyEquation4:

E = h 1.85 (122% / 100) 2.724 1000 (3)

E = h 1.85 (105% / 100) 2.724 1000 (4)

where,histhesumoftheelevationchangeofallconveyorsdownstreamofthecoarseorestockpile
(theverticallyliftoftheore).Theconstantsare:aconveyorpowerdrawallowance1.85accounting
fornonelevationpowerdraw,acirculatingloadtermof122%or105%torepresenttheaverage
proportionoffreshorefeedratethatisliftedbyatypicalconveyor,andapotentialenergytermof
2.724kWhtoliftatonneoforebyaheightof1m.

Thehtermisthesumoftheelevationchange(verticallift).Boddingtonhasroughlysixconveyor
stageswithaliftof30mineachstage,foratotal h of180m. CerroVerdehasroughlyseven
conveyorstageswithaliftof30mineachstage,foratotalhof210m.Itissuggestedthatthe
stageheightof30misthereasonablemaximumthatshouldbeconsideredforadesktopstudy,and
additionalprocesstrainsof30mhighprocessblocksshouldbeconsideredratherthangoinghigher
insituationswheremorethroughputisdesired.

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Plantsat least halfthesizeofBoddington andCerroVerdecan usethesamesizeofcrushing
machines(reducingthequantityoflargecrushersineachstageratherthaninstallingthesame
quantityofsmallercrushers),whichwillrequirethesame30mheight.CerroVerdehasfourlarge
secondarycrushers(MP1000)andfourlargeHPGRunits(POLYCOM24/17)totreat5000t/h,so
the30mheightcanbeusedforfeedratesdownto2500t/hbeforesmallerequipmentarerequired
forplantavailabilityreasons.Thefactorsinthismethodwillstillworkforsmallercrushingplants
thatusemoduleheightslessthan30maslongastheactualheightisaccumulatedandenteredinto
theappropriateequations.

Discussion,ComparisontoPublishedData

Publishedconveyorspecificenergyconsumptionvaluesare1.30kWh/tforBoddington(Parkeret
al.,2001)andbetween1.27kWh/t(Vanderbeeketal.,2006)and1.29kWh/t(Koskietal,2011)for
CerroVerde.

The simplified method (Equations 3 and 4) is compared to the published specific energy
consumptionvaluesinTable4.Boththeoperatingplantsmakeasignificantdeviationfromthelist
ofassumptionsusedtodevelopthesimplifiedmethod,soanadjustmentisrequired.Thefineore
binfeedconveyor,number5,liftssignificantlyhigherthantheassumed30m,actuallybeingabout
35matbothBoddingtonandCerroVerde.Thereasonswhythiswasdoneisbelievedtobesite
specificandisnotnecessarilyrequiredifoneassumesaflatlocation.

Afterdeductingtheextraconveyorliftattheoperatingplants,thesimplifiedmethodpredictions
arewithin12%ofthepublishedvalues.

Table 4 Simplified method compared to published plant data

Boddington Cerro Verde

Published conveyor SEC, kWh/t 1.30 1.28

Deduct extra height conveyor 5, kWh/t (-0.04) (-0.04)

Published SEC for comparison, kWh/t 1.26 1.24

SEC by simplified method, kWh/t 1.11 1.11

difference 0.15 0.13


12% 10%

Discussion,ComparisonstoSAGMillCircuits

Theintroductiontothispaperstatesthatthereasonforperformingthissortofcalculationisto
betterrepresentthetotalenergyusedinamultistagecrushingandHPGRplantforthepurposeof

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comparingtoaSAGmillcircuit.Anumberoftopicsbeyondthescopeofthispaperareneededto
completesuchacomparison:

Dust collection is needed in screening plants and conveyor transfer points. Both
Boddington(Parkeretal.,2001)andCerroVerde(Koskietal,2011)claima0.5kWh/t
specificenergyconsumptionfordustcollection.

Fineorebinswillneedfreezeprotectionandbeltsconveyingdampcrushedorerequire
enclosureandheatinginverycoldclimates(MacLellan,1972).LocationsinthehighAndes
may require additional capital and operating costs to prevent very cold weather from
interferingwithmaterialshandling.

BallmillsformultistagecrushingandHPGR circuitswillbebiggerthanballmillsfor
closedcircuitSAGmillcircuits(Burchardt&Ojeda,2010).Therearetworeasonsforthis:
firstisthattheproductsizeoutofanHPGRcircuit(3mmto6mmaccordingtoBurchardt
etal.,2011)iscoarserthanthetypicalproductsizeofaSAGmillcircuit(mmto3mm
accordingtoMorrell,2011);andsecondisthattheSAGmillsmakemorefinesthanHPGR
circuits(Amelunxen,2013),evenafteraccountingformicrocracking(Dolletal.,2010).A
typical copper porphyry treated by HPGR will see a 0% to 10% reduction in ball mill
operatingworkindexversustheBondballmillworkindextest;atypicalcopperporphyry
treatedbyaSAGmillwillseeaphantomcycloneeffectthatreducestheoperatingwork
index5%to15%versusthelaboratory(Amelunxen,2013).

Thespecificenergyconsumptionoftheballmillcircuitancillarysystems,mostnotablythe
cyclonefeedpump,areprobablyverysimilarwhetherthefeedisderivedfromaSAGmill
oranHPGR.ThesecanbeneglectedforthepurposesofHPGR:SAGcomparisonstudies.

MostcircuitcomparisonsignoretheSAGmillpebblecrushingconveyorspecificenergy
consumption. Themethodpresentedinthispaperisnotsuitableforestimatingsucha
value because theconveyors in apebblecrushing circuit may not include asignificant
degreeoflifting. TheSAGfeedandpebblecrushingconveyorpowerisgenerallysmall,
near0.1kWh/tforasimplerecirculatingbeltsystemwithout apebblecrusher,or0.15
kWh/twithapebblecrusher.TheSAGmillfeedbeltwillconsumelessthan0.06kWh/t,
dependingonthebeltlengthandtheheightoreiselevatedto.

CONCLUSION
Specific energy consumption of conveyors in multistage crushing plants, E as kWh/t, can be
approximated using a simple potential energy model where one only considers how much
material is to be lifted how high. Multiplying the conveyor specific energy consumption
associatedwithliftingthechargebyafactorof1.85providesapredictionoftheconveyorspecific
energyconsumptionconsumedbyallprocesses,includingtheelevationchange.

Different circuit configurations can be approximated as two values so that the specific energy
consumptionisindependentoftheactualfeedrate:

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Proportionoffreshfeed:Theeffectiveoverallcirculatingloadofafinesrichore,suchas
CerroVerde,is105%;whereas,theoverallcirculating loadofafinespoorore,suchas
Boddington,is122%.

hCumulativeconveyorlift:Thecumulativeelevationchangeofalltheconveyorsinthe
process;180mforasitelayoutsimilartoBoddingtonor210mforasitelayoutsimilarto
CerroVerde.

E=h1.85(Proportionoffreshfeed/100)2.7241000

Usingtheseinputvalues,themethodpredictsaconveyorspecificenergywithin12%ofpublished
datafortwooperatingHPGRcircuits,BoddingtonandCerroVerde.Themethodissuitablefor
performing a desktoplevel scoping study where the detailed layouts and conveyor sizing
calculationsofafeasibilitystudyarenotavailable,butareasonableassumptionofthebinheight
canbemade.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This paper was originally published in the Proceedings of the 47 th Annual Canadian Mineral
ProcessorsOperatorsConference,January2015,Ottawa,Canada.

TheauthoracknowledgesthevaluableinsightofferedbyIanOrford(AMECmining)andStefan
Nadolski(BCMiningResearchInc.)duringtheirreviewsofthedraftofthispaper.

NOMENCLATURE
B Boddington(referringtosomeaspectofBoddingtonscircuit,suchasaspecificconveyor)
CV CerroVerde(referringtosomeaspectofCVscircuit,suchasaspecificconveyor)
E (alsoSEC)Specificenergyconsumption,kWh/t
h heightoflift,m

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