A method for determining the minimum practical energy for comminution was developed and is presented in this paper. An objective of the method was to determine experimentally the energy-breakage relationship for a wide size range in order to evaluate the energy performance of both crushing and grinding processes using one energy benchmarking value.

Single-particle compression breakage, referred to in the field of comminution as one of the more efficient forms of mechanical comminution, was the basis for a test regimen to characterize the energy-breakage properties of ores. Existing models for impact breakage were found to be valid for single-particle compression breakage when used in a modified form. A key parameter of the adopted model, the threshold energy, was also investigated for three ore types and a range of particle sizes.

The energy performance of comminution processes at a Canadian mining operation was determined by comparing the determined minimum practical energy, using the new method, with actual site specific energy requirements. In order to evaluate the energy performance of different crushing and grinding technologies, the proposed energy benchmarking method was used to compare the energy performance of alternative comminution flowsheets.