Inert grinding media produces clean, fresh mineral surfaces that often improves downstream processing performance. The steep size distribution also benefits flotation and leach recovery as well as assisting downstream materials handling.
The combination of tight size distribution, small footprint, and inert media has profound implications for circuit design. Mills can be easily distributed throughout a flotation circuit, grinding only those particles that need it and producing a tight size distribution (without cyclones) ideal for subsequent flotation. The use of inert media means that rather than harm flotation chemistry, it is often assisted by the grinding step.
Similarly, the tight size distribution is crucial in leaching applications, where recovery is usually determined by the coarser end of the size distribution (best measured by P98 or P95, not P80).