Silixa has announced its involvement with Anglo American, the innovation-led global mining company with a diverse portfolio of products, with their major new project at Quellaveco, one of the largest undeveloped copper deposits located in the Moquegua region of Peru.

Quellaveco, Anglo American’s flagship development project with a $ 5bn investment, is set to become one of the world’s most advanced mines, using less water, less energy and cutting-edge technologies, reducing the physical footprint for every ounce of extracted mineral.

Quellaveco is the first plant that has been designed from the outset to use Silixa’s non-intrusive FibreWrap™ technology. The distributed acoustic sensing-based monitoring solution will have 145 sensing zones with nearly 80km of fibreoptic cable functioning as the sensing element, delivering continuous flow measurements to enable operators to optimize their processes.

This flow metering system, comprising individual zones of wrapped fibre on process pipes, measures the speed of turbulent eddies without disrupting process flow or requiring costly calibration. It is attractive for mineral processing plants because the sensing fibre is both low-cost and non-intrusive, and it has no requirement for power at the measurement locations. The sensing architecture makes it possible to measure several flows simultaneously. The optical fibre, wrapped densely around the exterior of a flowing pipe, is interrogated with iDAS (intelligent Distributed Acoustic Sensor) to reveal the flow speed within the pipe. By connecting several such wrapped sections in series, the system makes it possible to measure up to 25 flows using a single optical sensing circuit.

FibreWrap™ is compatible with liquid, gas, slurry, froth and reagent flows.

With ore reserves estimated to be 1.3 billion tonnes, Quellaveco is predicted to produce 300,000 tonnes of copper per year in the first 10 years of operation. The project will also create 14,000 jobs during the construction phase and 2500 jobs during normal operations.

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