It is widely accepted that the type of grinding media has an impact on the grinding chemistry ans subsequent flotation behaviour of the sulphide minerals being separated. There are countless laboratory investigations desmonstrating that inert grinding media produces more oxidising pulp potential, reduced level of grinding media corrosion products and superior concentrate grades and valuable metal recoveres. However, taking these results to industrial scale has proven difficult.
Work conducted at the Ernest Henry Mine, in North Western Queensland, Australia, at laboratory and pilot plant scale clearly indicated that using a high chrome grinding media resulted in significant improvements in both copper and gold recovery.
C.J. Greet, J. Twomey and A. Chung