CiDRA Minerals Processing has announced that Rio Tinto has chosen CiDRA’s SONARtrac® flow monitoring systems as its preferred technology for use on slurry lines at Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia. CiDRA will instrument 30 lines at the new concentrator, where the SONARtrac systems will provide increased accuracy and reduced maintenance costs.

Under an investment agreement signed with Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto, the Government of Mongolia has a 34% interest in the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia. Construction of the mine is progressing ahead of schedule, with first production now forecast to commence in late 2012. The mine will construct a copper concentrator plant, related facilities and the necessary infrastructure to support an initial throughput of 100,000t of ore per day on-site. By 2017, an expansion of the concentrator is expected to be completed in conjunction with the ramping up of the Hugo North underground mine. This will provide capacity to process 160,000t of ore per day for the duration of the operation.

CiDRA’s SONARtrac systems were chosen because of the non-invasive design, which provides exceptionally high reliability, performance, and maintenance-free operation, thus lowering operating costs and total cost of ownership. CiDRA’s SONARtrac flow technology is a new class of industrial flowmetre, utilising measurement principles that are distinct from all other flowmetre 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 without process interruption. In addition, SONARtrac systems demonstrate very stable output and superior levels of performance in the presence of highly variable fluid properties.