A prominent challenge with Grinding or Milling circuits is that plant personnel are often unsure what the ball charge level in a mill is. It's not clear what % of the mill weight is constituted by balls.
This uncertainty means that:

  • Performance is impacted by not having the right ball charge
  • They need to stop to mill to see how many balls are inside

Our Solution's solution to this challenge is the Ball Charge Virtual Sensor.
The Grinding Application's Ball Charge Model tracks the level of the ball charge in the mill in real-time. It uses AI and first-principle modelling of ball wear and -ejection in order to accurately predict changes in the ball charge levels during the mill's operation. The model tracks multiple factors including ball additions, ore properties, ball hardness, mill operational regimes, discharge grate design, etc.

The resulting Ball Charge Virtual Sensor is provided to you as a real-time value that can be used live for knowing when to add balls, or historically for root causes analyses.


This allows you to:

  • Stabilize grind performance in the desired range
  • Avoid unnecessary ball or mill liner costs
  • Prevent unnecessary mill stoppages (increased throughput)

Dashboard Example

This Virtual Sensor can be trended using a Dashboard. This is an example of a Dashboard showing the Ball Charge Virtual Sensor with other key Mill variables:

  1. Navigate to SAG Mill Ball Charge dashboard.
  2. Select LIVE mode in the time picker.
  3. Observe the Line graph to ensure the ball charge remains within the desired range.
  4. See the bar chart to know about the current ball size distribution.
  5. Adjust your ball addition schedule as required to achieve the desired ball size distribution.
  6. Record the ball addition via the Data Input Widget.
  7. See the total volume taken up by balls.

For more info, please do reach out to us via Intercom. We'd be happy to help!

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