Southern Copper Company’s Cuajone mine in Peru has awarded CiDRA a contract to supply, install, start, and commission a 48-inch diameter SONARtrac flowmeter. According to CiDRA, the meter will be the largest to be installed in Peru to date. The system will be employed to measure water flow in one of the plant’s principal feed lines.

Including the two systems that were recently installed in a mine in Northern Chile, Cuajone becomes the second client in South America that has chosen SONARtrac technology for large-diameter water feed lines, mainly due to the growing need to monitor flowrates and thereby improve the water balance, in compliance with internal company regulations.

The recovered water comes from Cuajone’s three thickeners to a reservoir near the concentrator plant. The water is then distributed for reuse in the concentrator plant through the water feed lines to mills, pumps and flotation. Four pumps feed the lines in accordance with process demands. The fundamental characteristic of being a nonintrusive system allows the installation of the 48-inch SONARtrac flowmeter without having to stop the process or cut the pipe. As a result, this will be the first time that the client will have a flowrate measurement on this 48-inch line.

CiDRA”s SONARtrac flow technology is a nonintrusive flow monitoring system that does not make contact with the fluid and can be removed and reinstalled without process interruption. The SONARtrac systems provide very stable output in the presence of a variety of ores and enables measurements of single phase and multiphase fluids, as well as slurries, with the same level of accuracy and performance.