There are a number of machines ideally suited to processing of a variety of minerals, depending on the type of mineral involved. Here we’re going to look at some of the machines we have available in our plant, what minerals they process and a brief look at how each machine operates. So when you come to require mineral processing then you’ll know what equipment is needed.

But first, here’s a quick snippet takeaway answer for you, then we’ll dive into more detail...

Mineral Processing Equipment - Minerals and ores contain a variety of properties which requires specific processing to break them down. Different equipment is employed for different tasks depending on the ore or mineral, soft to hard, abrasive, etc. This equipment typically break down materials into specific sizes.

If you have a specific mineral that needs processing, you’ll need to ensure you’re using the correct machine for that purpose. Using the wrong machine for the wrong task can result in breaking equipment or incorrect processing of the mineral or ore.

But first, what about if you could just get one of these machines yourself?

How Expensive is Mineral Mining Machinery?

If mineral processing is not your core business, then you should not invest in the equipment, this is because mineral processing and custom milling machinery can be incredibly expensive when purchased and installed as a capital expenditure and are unlikely to provide a sufficient return on investment if purchased for occasional use.

Ideally, you should look to employ the services of dedicated toll milling, ball milling services and ball milling processing manufacturers, rather than acquiring and installing these facilities yourself. African Pegmatite offer such services that can process your ore and can deliver all your custom milling requirements, we’ll work with you throughout the project and/or on an ongoing basis.

So how do you know what machine you need in order to process the mineral or ore that you have? Well, here’s a more detailed guide on the types of machines, how they work and the types of minerals they will process.

Ball Mills

You could call the ball machine a type of grinder. The principle of which has been used for hundreds of years, but refined in the modern era. The machine is partially filled with balls and serves to offer repeated and constant impact using the balls to crush and grind the materials.

The types of material that the balls are made of is dependant on the type of mineral to be treated. They’re mainly steel, but could be stainless steel, rubber or ceramic.

The balls are placed inside a long hollow cylinder which is about as long as it is wide. Often lined with abrasive wall linings or with rubber to reduce wear and tear.

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The cylinder is then rotated around a center axis, the minerals inside are slowly spun along with the ball contents and are subjected to constant impact and attrition from the balls to ultimately compound the contents to a specific size or powder ratio.

Typical Materials Used in the process include: -
  • Paints
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Ceramics
  • Laser sintering

Hammer Mills

Water powered hammer mills were used as far back as 488AD. Essentially, a hammer mill is a steel drum housing a horizontal rotating shaft mounted vertically or horizontally on which numerous hammers are mounted. They can be used as a primary means for crushing or even secondary or tertiary means.

The hammers are spun on their axis at high speed and as the material is fed in through the hopper it is impacted by the numerous hammers in a shattering motion. This can be a small scale, but as in our plant, this is done on a much larger scale. Fragments are then sifted through the bottom which can be altered ...or filtered depending on the size requirements.

Typical Materials Used in the process include: -
  • Large Rocks
  • Aggregate Materials
  • Other applications such as farming and Paper

Raymond Mills

The Raymond Mill is a good choice for small scale powder making projects and is used largely in the mining industry. The Raymond mill will satisfy the demand for 80-600mesh (180-23μm) powder tasks.

A large upright cylinder houses a central shaft, which spins at high speed. The shaft has attached to it a number of heavy high-speed rollers that act with a grinding motion as large material particles are fed into the side of the machine. The result is almost instant powder residue resulting from the grinding motion which is then fed out using specialist filtering tubes.

Common applications that use Raymond Mills are: -

  • Barite
  • Calcite
  • Potassium feldspar
  • Limestone
  • Talcum
  • Dolomite
  • Gypsum
  • Marble
  • Clay
  • Glass

Cone Crusher

A cone crusher operates by dropping hardcore materials down a funnel onto a steel cone-shaped cylinder spinning in an off-center pattern. The cone is set to a crushing measurement, usually of a 4:1 to 6:1 reduction ratio. The materials work their way down past the cylinder which crushes them to the desired size before releasing them into the filters below. The Cone crusher is typically used in

Rocks can pass through up to four different sized crushers in order to achieve the desired size. When a rock passes through a crusher its size is further reduced each time, this is referred to as the ‘ratio of reduction’.

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Common applications that use Cone Crushers are: -
  • Rocks
  • Ore
  • Other aggregates

Crushers are mainly used for the purpose of rocks for landscaping, erosion control, road building, and ore mining.

Roller Crushers

There are two main types of Roller Crushers. The first is where the rolls of each two parallel rollers are rotating in the opposite direction and where one roll is spring loaded. In this instance, the mineral particles are trapped and crushed as they pass between each of the two rolls.

The second type is known as ‘high pressure grinding roll’ (HPGR), in which each of the mineral size is reduced by using compressive and interparticle pressure which is mathematically configured beforehand.

Common applications that use Roll Crushers are: -
  • Rocks
  • Ore
  • Other aggregates

Attritor Mills

Attritors can be found in a variety of places, from small scale labs to factory production floors. Attritors, or otherwise referred to as stirred ball mills, work by use of ‘shear’ and ‘impact’ methods on a given material by another stronger media.

Similar to the Ball Mill and using much the same principles, but with slight variations. Essentially, the material is put into a fixed tank which contains a grinding media, this media could be carbon steel, ceramic, stainless steel, tungsten carbide, ceramic or commonly chrome steel balls.

The balls are then violently bounced around, propelled by a fast-moving shaft with arms which causes them to impact upon and break up mineral material. After a period of ‘Attrition’ the material is pulverized, often into a fine powder. Common applications that use Attritors are: -

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  • Ceramics
  • Paints
  • Inks
  • Pigments
  • Food production
  • Chocolate
  • Paper coating
  • Iron production
  • Glazes
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemicals
  • Coal

Jaw Crusher

A Jaw Crusher is the main type of primary crusher utilized in a mine or ore crushing facility. The size of the feeder at the top of the crusher usually denotes the size of the jaw crushers. As the name suggests, the jaw crushers are aligned into a V shape and act with a jaw movement using hydraulic or pneumatic compression to crush materials to the desired size.

Essentially, the outward motion of the jaws allows gravity to draw the rocks (or material) down further into the V-shaped jaws where they become trapped. Then the inward motion of the jaws crush the rocks. This process continues until each rock has reached the base of the machine and is finally compressed to the right size.

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The rock will remain in the machine until it has been sufficiently crushed to allow it to pass through the gap at the base which only allows a specific gauge on size.

As a general rule, primary jaw crushers are usually square in design and secondary jaw crushers are usually a rectangle, but there are exceptions to this. Common applications that use Roll Crushers are: -

  • Rocks
  • Ore
  • Other aggregates

To Conclude

There are more, but now that you have an overview of the different types of mineral processing equipment utilized in the breaking down of minerals and other materials - and hopefully, we’ve demonstrated the kind of machines we have at our disposal. We can, therefore, cover almost any crushing task you require.

In later articles, we’ll look at what services we can offer along with each of these machines. As well as aspects such as toll milling, mineral milling, mineral processing, custom milling, dry milling, ball milling services, ball mill processing, and our toll milling services.

With that in mind, why not contact us today and let’s have a discussion around what your needs are. One of our advisers will be happy to assist.