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INCREASING THE USEFUL LIFE OF GRINDING MILL LINERS - CERRO LINDO MINING UNIT NEXA RESOURCES

Trabajo ganador en el área de Procesamiento de Minerales y Metalurgia Extractiva en el Foro TIS, PERUMIN 35.
Por: Cesar Matías Sinche, gerente de Tecnología Mina, y Nilo Dávila Ordoñez, jefe de Investigación, Nexa Resources.


Abstract

The increase in the level of complexity of mining and processing has become more frequent in recent years, due to a decrease in head grades, variable metal prices and the need for more efficient processes with lower production costs and the implementation of emerging and disruptive technologies, so the search for alternatives to optimize costs is a fundamental part of the development of companies in the mining sector.

The most significant operating costs of the concentrator plant (Opex) are the reagents used in the flotation stage and consumables for the different comminution phases. This work defines a strategy based on a research and development project to reduce costs in the grinding stage by evaluating different types of liners in the mills of Nexa Resources' Cerro Lindo mining unit.

Currently the mill liners (steel) have a useful life of 8 months, therefore a research study was developed including several phases that are part of the governance of the Technology and Project Development (R&D) area.

The main objective is to increase the useful life of the mill liners, while maintaining the metallurgical performance in the grinding stage.

This started with phases of conceptual studies, benchmarking and simulations at different conditions and profiles of different materials and manufacturers, which concluded with the implementation of magnetic type liners.

Magnetic liners were installed in July 2021. Metallurgical evaluations performed indicate that the metallurgical performance of the Metso II mill as both a primary and secondary mill is maintained. Inspections were performed inside the equipment to predict the useful life of liners. According to the last inspection carried out, the projection is 36 months.

At the same time, technical feasibility studies are being carried out for their installation in the mills of Cerro Lindo unit (Metso I and Marcy) and in the units of the Pasco Complex (Atacocha and El Porvenir).

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