VANCOUVER, BC- BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. (TSX VENTURE:BQE) reports that it has signed a Development Agreement with Molibdenos y Metales S.A. (Molymet) for the development of two water treatment plants located at Molymet’s refinery near Santiago, Chile. One plant is for the recovery of copper from a wastewater stream from Molymet’s hydrometallurgical processes that use copper solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) technology and the other plant is for final water treatment to remove sulphate from solution, to replace an existing process. The development agreement outlines commercial terms where BioteQ will provide both plants on a build, own, operate basis and recover its capital from copper recovered and treatment fees for sulphate removal. The agreement is subject to site testing and engineering prior to completing a definitive operating agreement.
Project Description – Molymet, Nos Facility, Santiago
Molymet operates an integrated refining facility located at Nos, approximately 30 kilometers south of Santiago, Chile. The refinery treats molybdenum concentrates to make final upgraded molybdenum products as well as cathode copper by-product from SX-EW operations. The agreement provides for the development of BioteQ’s BioSulphide® technology for the recovery of copper from a complex acid waste water stream from the SX-EW operations to produce a final copper concentrate for sale. The objective is to recover at least 90% of the copper contained in the waste stream. In addition, Molymet currently operates a reverse osmosis plant, integrated with evaporation and crystallization, to remove sulphate in the final waste water treatment stage prior to water recycle. BioteQ has developed ion exchange technology, the Sulf-IX™ technology, for the removal of sulphate from complex salt solutions. Application of the Sulf-IX™ technology at Molymet would replace the existing reverse osmosis plant and associated evaporation and crystallization plants, to provide a high recovery of treated water that meets discharge quality requirements of 250 mg/L sulphate content.
Both BioteQ plants would be integrated into the existing infrastructure at Molymet’s Nos facility. Preliminary engineering is in progress to provide estimates for production as well as capital and operating costs.
The commercial terms agreed for the development of the BioteQ plants are:
- For copper recovery, BioteQ will provide for all capital and operating costs and receive 100% of the copper until BioteQ has recovered its initial capital plus 30% return then the net profits from copper recovery will be shared equally with Molymet, and
- For sulphate removal, BioteQ will provide for all capital and operating costs and charge Molymet a treatment fee based on a unit volume of water treated, similar to the arrangement BioteQ has with Xstrata Nickel at the Raglan operation.
The agreement is subject to the parties completing a definitive operating agreement for the plants following site testing and detailed engineering.
The Nos site was selected as the first site to demonstrate BioteQ’s technologies on a commercial scale for possible application at other Molymet sites.
Molymet Corporate Profile
Molibdenos y Metales S.A. (Molymet) is a Chilean corporation listed on the Santiago Stock exchange. The company processes molybdenum concentrates, with production facilities in Chile, Mexico, Belgium and Germany. Gross revenues for 2005 were over US$ 2 billion. Molybdenum concentrates from all over the world are treated at the plants for the production of technical molybdic oxide, ferromolybdenum, high purity molybdenum chemicals and molybdenum metal powders. These products are supplied to the steel, petrochemical catalysts and specialty metal manufacturing industries worldwide. At the Nos plant near Santiago, molybdenum concentrates are roasted to produce technical molybdenum oxide, molybdenum oxide briquettes, ferromolybdenum and high purity molybdenum chemicals. Yearly roasting capacity at this location is 46 million pounds of molybdenum contained in concentrates (approximately 43,000 MT of concentrates per year). The Nos complex is also equipped with a leaching plant and a concentrate cleaning plant, which allow copper removal from the molybdenum products. The copper is then recovered at a SX – EW plant as high quality copper cathodes.
BioteQ Corporate Profile
BioteQ is establishing itself as a leader in the treatment of acid contaminated water through the use of its patented BioSulphide® Process and the ChemSulphide™ Process. Focused on the mining industry, BioteQ has partnered with leading metal producers including Phelps Dodge, Breakwater, INCO, Jiangxi Copper, Aditya Birla and Xstrata as well as utilities operator EPCOR Water Services, to finance, design, build and operate mine site water treatment plants which recover saleable metals in addition to meeting ever stricter environmental regulations.
On behalf of the Board of Directors