A Review of the Grinding Media in Ball Mills for Mineral Processing

Nyasha Matsanga, Willie Nheta, Ngonidzashe Chimwani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The ball mill is a rotating cylindrical vessel with grinding media inside, which is responsible for breaking the ore particles. Grinding media play an important role in the comminution of mineral ores in these mills. This work reviews the application of balls in mineral processing as a function of the materials used to manufacture them and the mass loss, as influenced by three basic wear mechanisms: impact, abrasion, and corrosion. The effect of grinding media geometries and density on the mill performance was also reviewed to determine what the research has recommended as the most suitable grinding media for different grinding applications. Although considerable work has been carried out in that area, the influence of grinding media shape on the liberation of minerals, as well as the effect of various mill conditions on the performance of mixed grinding media shapes, are still poorly understood. Thus, the review opens up opportunities for further research to improve the grinding processes, especially considering that even a slight improvement in the process efficiency significantly reduces the production costs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1373
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • alloy
  • ball mill
  • ball size distribution
  • cast iron
  • comminution
  • grinding media
  • wear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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