CiDRA Minerals Processing announced today that they have been awarded, through Bechtel Chile, an additional contract to supply SONARtrac® process monitoring systems to Minera Los Pelambres in Chile, the world’s fifth largest copper mine.

CiDRA has been involved in all phases of this expansion project at Los Pelambres, and will now be providing critical flow measurements on tailings lines within the Mauro tailings dam, and as well, on critical slurry lines within the concentrator plant, all integrally working within the Los Pelambres expansion project awarded to Bechtel. Specifically, this win for CiDRA is part of the “Repowering Project – Minera Los Pelambres”.

This USD $1 billion plant expansion will increase plant throughput from the current 145,000tpd level to 175,000tpd. The project was 84% complete by October of 2009 and on schedule for completion by end of 2009. The engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) is being performed by Bechtel Chile, the same company that designed and constructed the original plant, working with CiDRA as a supplier on all phases of the expansion project.

Minera Los Pelambres is considered a star in the Chilean mining industry, having one of the lowest production costs in the industry. This expansion follows earlier expansions that have taken place based on significantly increased estimates in the reserves.

CiDRA’s SONARtrac flow technology is a new class of industrial flowmeter, utilizing measurement principles that are distinct from all other flowmeter technologies operating in the mining industry.

SONARtrac non-intrusive flow monitoring systems make no contact with the slurry and can be removed and reinstalled when it is necessary to replace the pipe. In addition, SONARtrac systems demonstrate a very stable output in the presence of a variety of ores, and demonstrate superior levels of performance. This passive, sonar-based technology enables measurements of single-phase and multiphase fluids, as well as slurries, with the same level of accuracy and performance.