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Chilean mining

31/01/17 - What The Dens-itometer Can Do For Chilean Mining

Towards the end of last year our CEO, Ken Primrose and Technical Sales Engineer, Beatriz Cuesta visited a prominent Chilean mining site. Mining is a pillar of the Chilean economy: Chile’s mines generate approximately one third of the worlds copper; copper alone equates to 60% of Chile’s overall annual exports.

One of the greatest demands placed upon the Chilean mining industry is the transportation of ore. The most promising solution, and one we witnessed whilst in Chile, is the utilisation of slurry pipelines. This method works by mixing pre-mined ore with water and flushing it across vast distances, until it reaches its final destination where it is then processed. Transportation via pipeline has many advantages compared to traditional freight transport: it’s quicker, more economical and less harmful to the environment.

The challenge of slurry pipelines however, is estimating the solid density travelling through the pipeline. Due to the abrasive nature of ore, pipeline erosion can occur, leading to leakage and possible loss of product. Furthermore, an excessive concentration of ore travelling through the pipeline can place additional strain upon the pump, causing it to break down and halt production. These issues make the need to control ore volume in the pipeline essential.

Chilean mining

Fortunately there is a solution, the ITS Dens-itometer can provide accurate real-time volumetric data of flow regime across the full pipeline diameter. This means users will have a visual portrayal of precisely what is entering/inside the pipeline, enabling them to help prevent erosion and pump failure by controlling the ore density within the slurry.

Equally as advantageous, is the fact the ITS Dens-itometer works on the principle of electrical conductivity, thus making the nuclear power source based within conventional densitometers obsolete. The environmentally friendly Dens-itometer: eliminates the potential health risks associated with having nuclear material on site, is non-invasive, does not require specially trained staff to operate and removes the expensive maintenance and disposal costs of gamma power sources.

The ITS Dens-itometer is proven in the field and is currently being used by some of the leading dredging and mining firms across the world. To find out how the Dens-itometer can improve your operations, call us on +44 (0) 161 832 9297 or enquire online!