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:: The M50,000 the New and Largest IsaMillTM
Bigger tonnages and lower grades lead to a demand for larger scale comminution equipment, particularly in porphyry copper and magnetite operations. Xstrata Technology has responded to this need, by working with partners Netzsch and Linatex to design an even larger IsaMill™. The latest development is the new model - the 8MW M50,000 IsaMill™.
Greg Anderson - Technical Manager for the M50,000 IsaMill™ project, said “Most of the challenges involved with the larger mill design were related to the size and weight of the equipment, particularly in manufacturing, and for ease of shipping and general handling. Operationally we expect the same energy efficiency as we achieve when we scale up from a M4 to a M10,000 mill. The grinding action and media is still the same, it’s just at a much bigger scale”.
Greg said a number of significant developments have evolved from the new design, including novel liner design and new relining technology, some of which may also be used for smaller IsaMills™.
The M50,000 has 8 disc weighing 2 tonnes each to provide the media stirring in the mill. This weight rules out manhandling by cranes when it comes to replace them, so a maintenance system has been designed to move the components on and off the shaft. It uses a system of hydraulics, already in place on the shell, and an innovative designed rotating head, with “fingers” to lock into place on the worn components on the shaft. The operator controls the equipment remotely which removes the components off the shaft, so that new components can then be reloaded back on the shaft using the same tool. It is expected that a full set of discs could be replaced in 8 hours from mill shutdown to feed on.
The bigger mill has a new segmented shell liner so all components can fit in shipping containers. Each segment has a purpose designed O-ring type sealing and flange system to produce a complete seal when the sections are compressed together. In turn the outer shell of the mill has been redesigned into segments to allow removal and installation of the inner liner segments. The outer shell will be rotatable about its axis to facilitate maintenance on the liner segments as well as allow the liner life to be optimised
Greg said that the new mill would provide opportunities for large scale operations wanting to take advantage of just a single IsaMill in their regrind circuits, while still getting the benefits of energy efficiency and inert grinding. The new components will be demonstrated on operating M10,000 IsaMills™ for viewing by attendees at the IsaMil™l Users conference later this year in South Africa.
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