ARBS: Energy Efficient Comminution


Clive Wynne




Purpose and goal

Comminution is an essential, but very energy intensive and energy inefficient process used to fracture rock into fine particles for mineral recovery and other industries (e.g. cement). The project will progress a new low energy comminution method and device from advanced laboratory testing to a continuous operation pilot and finally to a concept design for a ‘full scale’ demonstration mill. The project also aims to progress R&D in critical areas and conduct initial marketing initiatives.

Expected results and effects

The new process has demonstrated the potential to reduce energy consumption by as much as 80%. Apart from the dramatic cost reduction and energy saving, this makes powering comminution circuits off renewable energy a real possibility. The method has also demonstrated improved mineral recovery, reduced water consumption and smaller slimes dam requirements. The method is well suited to precise equipment and process control and is expected to catalyze further up- and downstream process innovations.

Planned approach and implementation

The project will be led and coordinated by Comminution Reimagined Sweden AB. The project partners include two major global mining companies and the Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre (FCC). The project consists of 9 different work packages that include further R&D, a pilot on a mine site, extensive recovery testing of the final product, the concept design of a 50tph mill, and initial marketing activities. The project commences on 1 March 2022 and runs to 31 December 2023.