CiDRA Minerals Processing announced today that they have been awarded, through Bechtel Chile, their third expansion contract to supply SONARtrac® process monitoring systems to Minera Los Pelambres in Chile, the world’s fifth largest copper mine. The SONARtrac systems will provide volumetric flow measurements on critical slurry lines within the concentrator plant and work integrally within the Los Pelambres expansion project awarded to Bechtel.

Specifically, this win for CiDRA is part of the “Repower 2 Project – Minera Los Pelambres”, scheduled for completion in 2010, will increase the capacity of the mine’s concentrator from 145,000t (132,000t) to 175,000t (159,000t) per day.

The project, located in the Andes some 124 miles (200km) from Chile’s capital, Santiago, comprises two main work sites: the mine area and primary crusher at an elevation of 9,800 feet (almost 3,000m), and the concentrator at 5,200ft (1,600m). A conveyor transports ore from the crusher to the concentrator. Minera Los Pelambres is considered a star in the Chilean mining industry, having one of the lowest production costs in the industry.

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. As well, 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 two measurements of single phase and multiphase fluids, as well as slurries, with the same level of accuracy and performance.