Performance optimization of an industrial ball mill for chromite processing

S. K. Tripathy, Y. R. Murthy, V. Singh, A. Srinivasulu, A. Ranjan, P. K. Satija

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this investigation, we optimize the grinding circuit of a typical chromite beneficiation plant in India. The run-of-mine ore is reduced to a panicle size of less than 1 nun in the communication circuit and concentrated using gravity separation. The communication circuit comprises two-stage crushing and single-stage grinding in a ball mill in closed-circuit with a high-frequency screen. A detailed circuit audit was undertaken at the plant to understand and evaluate the performance of the grinding circuit. The audit revealed abnormalities in the process and design parameters which caused high energy consumption, lower throughput, and loss of ultrafine chromite. Laboratory studies indicated the differences in the grinding properties (work index, breakage rate, etc.) and liberation sizes of these ores. Studies also revealed that grinding media size, panicle retention time, and pulp density are crucial in coarse grinding. Based on the laboratory grinding and characterization studies; simulation studies were performed to optimize the operating parameters of the grinding circuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2017.


  • Ball mill
  • Chromite beneficiation
  • Coarse grinding circuit
  • Process optimization
  • Ultrafine reduction


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