CiDRA Minerals Processing announced today that the work with LKAB (Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara), which started in 2007, has been a success and now includes more than forty SONARtrac systems at LKAB’s three production sites; Kiruna, Malmberget and Svappavaara. At this time, for the new facilities at Kiruna and Svappavaara, all magnetite slurry flow is being monitored by SONARtrac systems.

Despite a steep decline in the world economy at the close of 2008, production of crude ore in both of LKAB’s iron ore mines was record-breaking. In all, nearly 43 million t of crude ore, of which 27.5 million t in Kiruna and 15.4 million t in Malmberget, was produced. This represents a total increase of almost 2 million t compared with 2007. Pellet production also rose to new record levels following major investments in new pelletizing plants in recent years. The production volume reached 19.9 million t, which is over 1 million t more than LKAB produced during the previous year. In addition, the company matched its 2007 record for pellet deliveries of 17.9 million t, despite the downturn late in the year.

Sweden-based LKAB is one of the world’s leading producers of upgraded iron ore products for the steel industry and a growing supplier of industrial mineral products to other sectors. LKAB’s chief assets are the magnetite ore fields in northern Sweden, where they are now investing close to $1 billion for construction of new concentrating and pelletizing plants in Kiruna.

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, are not affected by the magnetic properties of the slurry and demonstrate superior levels of performance. The capability to also measure slurry air content is an additional advantage when measuring aerated slurry flows (e.g. around flotation stages). 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.