2004 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit, Denver, Colorado, 23–25 February 2004
Authors: K. S. Free (AAI) and M. K. McCarter and R. P. King (University of Utah)

Mine plans typically consider the profits and costs associated with extracting and processing minerals into marketable products.  Interrelationships between mine and mill costs are often overlooked during the process of mine plan optimization.  A simple and quick method for predicting milling costs for a given block would improve the planning process, especially if the procedure could be incorporated as part of routine ore grade analysis of drill core or cuttings.  Incorporating milling costs as part of the mine planning process could improve overall optimization of the mine/mill combination.  A method developed by the Utah Comminution Center (UCC) at the University of Utah provides a possible answer to the need for quick and reliable grinding cost estimation (King et al., 1996).  Using results from single-particle impact tests, a work index, called the Utah Load Cell Work Index (ULCWI), is calculated.  The potential for routine use of the new method is explored by comparing ULCWI values with corresponding Bond Work Index (BWI) values for eight mineral materials (Free 2000).

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