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New flow monitoring technology a success at BHP Billiton

CiDRA Minerals Processing and KROHNE Australia have successfully completed a trial at BHP Billiton’s Worsley Alumina Refinery to measure the bauxite slurry flow and entrained air in a classifier feed line.

The trial was conducted by Worsley’s Engineering Tech team, who used CiDRA’s SONARtrac flow monitoring system to perform the task.

According to the team, the accuracy and repeatability of the SONARtrac system enabled it to optimise the grind strategy to maintain linearity between the circulating load and mill feed. This refined grind strategy ensures an optimal feed rate to maximise throughput while avoiding mill overload, the team said.

KROHNE Australia is CiDRA’s exclusive representative in Australia, and is now providing in-country support for the project.

“Achieving a high level of process control without significant human labor requires instrumentation that is precise, reliable, and robust. CiDRA SONARtrac systems were chosen because of the non-intrusive, volumetric flow technology that is immune to scaling effects, eliminates human interaction in potentially dangerous liquor and slurry applications,” said a press notice from CiDRA.

The company’s SONARtrac flow technology is a new class of industrial flowmeter that the company claims utilises measurement principles that are distinct from all other flowmeter technologies operating in the mining industry.

SONARtrac non-intrusive flow monitoring systems do not make contact with the slurry and can be removed and reinstalled when it is necessary to replace the pipe.

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