CiDRA Minerals Processing Inc announced today that SONARtrac process monitoring instrumentation has been chosen for the flow measurement on critical lines within the Minera San Cristóbal.

The San Cristóbal Mine is one of the largest open pit silver, zinc and lead mines and processing facilities in the world. The team has expertise in gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, molybdenum and uranium.

San Cristóbal is located in the Potosi district of south-western Bolivia and hosts approximately 450 million ounces of silver, eight billion pounds of zinc and three billion pounds of lead contained in 231 million tons of open-pittable proven and probable reserves. As the ore body is open both at depth and laterally, reserve expansion potential is considered excellent.

The SONARtrac systems provide volumetric flow measurements on critical lines, and were helpful in accelerating San Cristóbal’s ramp up to full and efficient production. The non-invasive sonar-based flow measurement systems not only provide rapid and convenient installation, thus saving time, reducing labour requirements and avoiding process shutdowns, but also provide a very accurate and repeatable measurement, which enables true process benchmarking and then improvement. Processes can only be improved if they can be accurately monitored.

CiDRA’s SONARtrac flow technology is a new class of industrial flowmeter, utilising 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 liquid or slurry and can be removed and reinstalled when it is necessary to replace the pipe. Also, SONARtrac systems demonstrate very stable output and superior levels of performance in the presence of highly variable fluid properties.

This passive sonar-based technology enables measurements of single-phase liquids, as well as multi-phase fluids such as aerated liquids and slurries. This is a platform technology that also enables new capabilities, such as sand out detection, density correction and acoustic pipeline monitoring.