Rock Characteristics and Ball Mill Energy Requirements at Goldfields Ghana Limited, Tarkwa Gold Mine (TGM)
Keywords:Work index, Power draw, Computer simulation
AbstractMineral processing plants often experience changes in throughput; blending patterns, and rock properties. These changes can have great impact on milling operations. As mining progresses, new deposits are discovered, which may have different characteristics from the designed plant parameters, a situation requiring re-assessment of the plant operating parameters. Goldfields Ghana Limited, Tarkwa Gold Mine (TGM), processes ores which occur in conglomerate reefs. The competence of the ore was observed to increase with increasing mining depth. Other rock properties such as porosity, micro-cracks and gold dissolution were also observed to change with depth. It therefore became necessary to conduct a study to ascertain the effect of changes in rock characteristics on the performance of the existing ball mill. The study characterized the mineralogy and rock characteristics of the ores being mined from three pits and the results were compared with design parameters. The parameters examined had deviated from the design; Work Index (WI) for example was lower than design and required simulation and adjustment. Samples taken at the same depth from each of the pits showed that Akontasi Pit has the most competent ores, followed by Kottraverchi Pit and then Teberebie Pit. Furthermore, throughput was the most sensitive variable and easiest to manipulate to achieve the energy draw required. Simulations showed that a plant throughput of about 1665 t/hr, instead of the current value of 1500 t/hr would be most suitable as an energy draw solution.
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