CiDRA Corporation

April 04, 2006 09:31 ET

CiDRA Wins Major Mining Contract in Chile; CiDRA and Bechtel to Supply SONARtrac Process Monitoring Systems to Minera Los Pelambres

WALLINGFORD, Conn.--(CCNMatthews - Apr 4, 2006) -

CiDRA Corporation ("CiDRA") CiDRA Corporation announced today that they have been awarded, through Bechtel Chile Ltda, a major contract to supply SONARtrac™ process monitoring systems to Minera Los Pelambres in Chile, the world's fifth largest copper mine. The SONARtrac systems will provide volumetric flow measurements on critical slurry lines within the concentrator plant, and work integrally within the Los Pelambres expansion project awarded to Bechtel. Specifically, this win for CiDRA is part of the "Repowering Project - Minera Los Pelambres". This plant expansion will increase production of copper by 13% by increasing the ore processing capacity of the concentrator plant from 120,000 to 144,000 tons per day. It involves increasing the power of the semiautogenous (SAG) mills from 17,000 to 20,000 HP, and the ball mills from 9,500 to 10,500 HP. An additional ball mill of 10,500 HP is also being added. The Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management (EPCM) is being performed by Bechtel Chile Ltda, the same company that designed and constructed the original plant. The plant expansion is a $200M project. Simultaneously a $500M project is underway to construct a new tailings depository.

Minera Los Pelambres is considered a star in the Chilean mining industry, having one of the lowest production costs in the industry. This expansion follows earlier expansions that have taken place based on significantly increased estimates in the reserves, which currently are estimated at 2.1 billion tons, which at the current pace signify around 50 years of projected life of the mine.

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. As well, SONARtrac systems demonstrate a very stable output in the presence of a variety of ores, and demonstrate superior levels of performance. 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.

Additional information about CiDRA can be found at

SONARtrac is a trademark of CiDRA Corporation.

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