High-pressure grinding roll

Paul Boughton

Energy efficiency is the key to success at modern mines and quarries. The most potential for energy and cost savings can be realised in the comminution process, where ore is ground and crushed into smaller particles.

With the HRC 3000, the largest fully operating high-pressure grinding roll (HPGR) in the world, Metso provides an energy efficient solution with a range of features, aimed at getting more value from every ton of ore.

The HRC 3000 was the result of a collaboration between Metso and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. The goal was to develop a highly efficient HPGR crushing circuit for the newly constructed Metcalf concentrator at Freeport-McMoRan's copper mine in Morenci, Arizona. In approximately four years, the team went from a design concept to the largest fully operating HPGR in the world.

The HRC  3000 started operating at Freeport-McMoRan's copper mine in May 2014. The installed unit is the largest of its kind in the world, allowing for fewer lines of equipment which reduces the amount of ancillary equipment.

To date, the unit has operated for over 8,400 hours and has crushed more than 34 million tons of porphyry copper ore. Metso's solution has provided the Morenci mine with several benefits, including an estimated 13.5% increase in energy efficiency over traditional HPGRs based on pilot scale testing.

The HRC 3000 is the first full scale HPGR to incorporate design features like the flanged tire design and the patented Arch-frame. Depending on the application, the total capacity of this HPGR can exceed over 5,400tph of ore.

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