Anglo Platinum Commission World’s Largest Fine Grinding Mill

Xstrata Technology announces that the world’s largest ultra fine grinding mill, the 2.6 MW M10000 IsaMill, has been successfully commissioned at Anglo Platinum’s Western Limb Tailings Retreatment Plant (WLTRP) in South Africa.

Anglo Platinum selected IsaMill technology for its proven efficiency, robustness, and scale-up ability, following a global review of alternative fine grinding technologies. The M10000 IsaMill was developed under a collaborative agreement between Xstrata Technology, a subsidiary of Xstrata Plc, Anglo Platinum, and Netzsch Feinmahltechnik (Netzsch). The M10000 was scaled-up from the M3000 (1.1 MW) IsaMill, and was designed to regrind the platinum flotation rougher concentrate to improve platinum recovery in the cleaning stage.

"The IsaMill is a high intensity fine grinding machine which efficiently grinds minerals to below 10 microns, a duty which was uneconomic with previous technology. This can transform the economics of flotation for fine grained ores, and greatly accelerate leaching rates in hydrometallurgy. It uses chemically inert media to minimise particle surface oxidation, which gives significant process advantages. A key design feature of the IsaMill is the patented centripetal discharge mechanism, which both retains grinding media and eliminates short circuiting of feed particles. This produces a sharp product size distribution, vital for leaching applications."

Mr Clark praised the role of Anglo Platinum in this project: "While scale up of technology is often considered risky, the combination of Anglo’s vision, Xstrata Technology’s operating and fine grinding expertise and the engineering skills of Netzsch gave a very smooth commissioning with all targets met quickly. The large scale of the M10000 opens up a huge range of potential applications for ultra fine grinding, particularly in hydrometallurgy where leaching rates are transformed at finer sizes."

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