CiDRA Minerals Processing has announced today that it has successfully installed and commissioned SONARtrac® process monitoring systems at Minera Hierro Atacama, located in the Copiapó Province, Third Region, Chile. Minera Hierro Atacama is owned by CAP Minería, a mainly Chilean company engaged in mining of iron. The project, Hierro Atacama, was developed to recuperate iron from the tailings from a copper mine.

The SONARtrac flowmeters are commissioned on the long-distance slurry pipeline that transports the iron concentrate from the magnetite plant to the seaport where the concentrate is filtered and stored for later dispatch. At both ends of the transport pipeline, a SONARtrac flowmeter together with a nuclear density meter are installed for operational use, which includes measuring the volume of the concentrate transported and leak detection.

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 without process interruption. Also SONARtrac systems demonstrate a very stable output in the presence of a variety of ores, and demonstrate superior levels of performance.

In the Hierro Atacama application, the ore has magnetic characteristics that are detrimental to the performance of some conventional flowmeter technologies; however, the SONARtrac systems are immune to these effects. This passive, sonar-based technology enables measurements of single-phase and multi-phase fluids, as well as slurries, with the same level of accuracy and performance. SONARtrac technology is a proven standard on pipelines with magnetic slurries and is repeatable and reliable in the harshest environments and slurry conditions.