CiDRA Minerals Processing has announced the successful commissioning of the SONARtrac system on a dewatering line 302 m underground. Industrias Penoles, Mexico’s second largest silver and lead producer, selected the system for their Naica mine, a lead, zinc and silver mine located in the municipality of Saucillo. CiDRA and Techflow, CiDRA’s Mexican representatives, successfully installed the system overcoming several challenges beyond the depth of 302 m. This included dealing with scaling in the line, difficult flow rates, water temperatures of 60°C, as well as the large meter size (24 in) needed to accommodate the line.CiDRA states that these challenges would have made it impossible for other conventional flow meters to be installed, and was the major factor in the selection of SONARtrac. Penoles has now purchased three more SONARtrac systems for additional use on their process water lines. The Naica mine is 100% owned by Penoles, and is located in Saucillo, Chihuahua. The mine’s installed capacity is 950,000 t/y milled, and the company has owned extraction rights at the mine since 1964. In 2011, production of contained lead and zinc totaled 15,495 t and 13,048 t due to better ore grades and recoveries.CiDRA’s SONARtrac 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 fluid and can be removed and reinstalled without process interruption when it is necessary to replace the pipe. The systems also demonstrate a very stable output in the presence of a variety of ores and demonstrate superior levels of performance. The passive, sonar-based technology enables measurements of single phase and multiphase fluids, as well as slurries, with the same level of accuracy and performance.