A deeper understanding of the milling operation of ball mills helps mineral processing engineers to control and optimize them, and therefore, reduce their consuming power. In this work, the milling operation of ball mills is investigated using two methods, i.e. DEM and combined DEM-SPH. First, a pilot scale ball mill with no lifter is simulated by both methods. Then another pilot scale ball mill with eight rectangle lifters is simulated again by both methods. The effects of lifters on ball shoulder and toe points as well as on creation of cascading and cataracting movements for balls are studied by both methods. At the present time, there is not enough measured data available for dense slurries interacting with the coarse particulates available in the public domain that can be used adequately to validate these types of predictions. The results obtained indicated that fluid slurry in the mill lowered the charge shoulder by about 28 cm and 25 cm in the
no-lifter and eight-lifter cases, respectively. However, it raised the charge toe by about 36 cm and 6 cm in the no-lifter and eight-lifter cases, respectively.