LKAB (Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB, www.lkab.com), an international high-tech minerals group and a producer of upgraded iron ore products for the steel industry, has selected CiDRA’s SONARtrac flow measurement systems for all magnetite slurry measurements in its new concentrator and pelletizing plants. The SONARtrac systems will be installed to control the production flows in both plants.

The pelletizing plant will be LKAB’s third pelletizing plant in operation. It will also be the world’s largest grate-kiln plant. The plant’s planned initial production will be 5 Mt pellets per year, but there is a possibility for a further increase to 6 Mt/y. The new plants are being built adjacent to the company’s existing processing plants and are expected to be operational in the spring of 2008.

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 nonintrusive flow monitoring systems make no contact with the slurry and can be removed and reinstalled when it is necessary to replace the pipe. The flow measurement 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 have shown high levels of performance in enviroinments similar to those in which they will be employed in LKAB’s plants. The capability to also measure slurry air content is an additional advantage when measuring aerated slurry flows (e.g. around flotation stages). According to CiDRA (www.cidra.com), its sonar-based technology enables measurements of single phase and multiphase fluids, as well as slurries, with the same level of accuracy and performance.