VANCOUVER, BC – BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. (TSX:BQE), a leader in the treatment of metal and sulphate contaminated water, announced that activities at the Lluvia de Oro gold mine near Sonora, Mexico have been modified pending mine owner NMW Mining Corporation (TSX VENTURE:COL) securing certain operating permits and providing required infrastructure for commercial mining operations.
NWM recently announced completion of a final option payment to secure mining claims for the Lluvia site. This provides the basis for continued planning and development at the site. The project has satisfactorily completed all testing of the heap leach operation and BioteQ’s water treatment system. However, production has been lower than expected, due to mining shortfalls, and costs were higher, primarily due to labour costs. To the end of November, the site has produced 1,300 ounces of gold, 2,200 ounces of silver and 30,000 pounds of copper. Additional engineering is now required so that NWM can submit the necessary documentation for long term operating permits, leach pad expansion and a development plan to mine in the higher grade Jojoba deposit. In addition, NWM is planning to complete site infrastructure requirements for steady state mining operations.
While active mining is not presently possible at the site pending certain permits, it is possible to operate the ADR gold circuit and the SART plant for copper recovery and reagent recycle to process the existing heap leach now in place. BioteQ and NWM Mining have reduced site overheads and will operate the existing leach pad and SART water treatment circuit on a reduced production basis until July 2009, when it is anticipated that mining activities will be re-started. BioteQ outlined expected production for the Lluvia site in an October 14 press release, and in its recent MD&A. These projections are now under review, and should not be relied upon as guidance for the Lluvia project.
“We are disappointed by this delay in the plan,” stated BioteQ’s CEO, Brad Marchant. “However, NWM has made the final property payment, which is very good news and consolidates the ownership of the site to eliminate that risk. In addition, the gold leaching system and ADR plant as well as our water treatment technology have proven successful at this site, removing technology as a risk factor. As a water treatment service provider we must rely on the project owner to deliver the required mining permits and working capital for infrastructure for continuous operation and this will simply take more time than originally anticipated. We have reduced the scope of operations at the site to preserve our working capital and protect our investment for the longer term.”
The Lluvia de Oro mine has provided BioteQ the opportunity to demonstrate SART technology, combined with BioteQ’s sulphide technology, as an enabling technology for low grade gold-copper ores, providing a sustainable alternative for copper removal from waste water and recycle of the gold leaching reagent. BioteQ’s treatment plant has successfully removed high-grade copper concentrate from the gold solution, which allows gold recovery, removes the deleterious impact of soluble copper at the site and concurrently regenerates valuable leaching reagents for gold extraction. BioteQ has recently sold the first copper production from the new plant, approximately 20 tonnes of copper concentrate containing greater than 65% copper, to Trafigura, an international metals trader, at commercially competitive rates.
BioteQ Corporate Profile
BioteQ builds, owns and operates industrial water treatment plants, reducing environmental liabilities while generating revenue from waste water. The Company’s commercially proven technology treats acid mine drainage and other metal-laden waste water by sequentially removing metals and sulphate, producing saleable metal products and clean water that can be discharged safely to the environment. BioteQ has built 8 plants at sites in Canada, the US, China, Australia and Mexico, with new projects in design and construction. BioteQ is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, and trades on the TSX under the symbol BQE. For additional information, please go to www.bqewater.com.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
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