VANCOUVER, B.C.– BioteQ Environmental Technologies, Inc. (TSX: BQE), a leader in the treatment of industrial waste water, announces that it has commenced a legal action against NWM Mining Corporation (“NWM”) and it has filed a Notice of Civil Claim with the Supreme Court of British Columbia. BioteQ seeks monetary damages for NWM’s breach of a Termination, Consolidation and Reconciliation Agreement (“TCRA”) between the companies dated June 12, 2009.
Under the terms of the TCRA, NWM agreed to purchase BioteQ’s plant, located on NWM’s Lluvia de Oro mine site in Mexico, on a lease-to-own basis. NWM was to begin making minimum monthly lease payments of USD $150,000 per month as of October 1, 2010 up to a total CAD $9.6 million. NWM would own the plant after all payments were made.
NWM has failed to make any monthly lease payments to date and are in default of the TCRA. BioteQ is seeking damages in the amount of the outstanding debt and all remaining lease payments due to BioteQ under the lease-to-own provisions of the TCRA, for a total of CAD $9.6 million plus accrued interest.
BioteQ is currently reviewing the impact of this legal action on its 2010 financial results.
SART (sulphidization-acidification-recycle- thickening) is an enabling technology for copper-complexed gold deposits. The presence of soluble copper can create a metallurgical interference in the recovery of gold from cyanide solution. By removing copper from the cyanide solution and regenerating it for re-cycle to the gold operation, SART can improve gold yields, significantly reduce processing costs, and enhance the environmental performance of the gold mining operation.
BioteQ designed, built and commissioned a SART plant in 2008, designed to treat copper-contaminated cyanide solution, for application at the Lluvia-Jojoba gold project located in Sonora, Mexico. The plant was subsequently sold to NWM under the terms of the TCRA as noted above.
In July 2008, NWM management provided written confirmation of the completion of construction of the SART plant. BioteQ then proceeded to commission the plant, as part of a process trial for the heap leach project. The plant operated successfully during the 2008 trial, reducing copper in the gold leach solution to below 50 mg/L in the discharge from the plant, and recovering dissolved copper as a high-grade copper sulphide concentrate. Over 20,000 pounds of dry copper concentrate was recovered containing 65 percent copper, which was sold to Trafigura.
By the end of 2008, the trial was complete, as reported by NWM. Operational responsibility for the SART plant was transferred to NWM in February 2009 on an “as is” basis, and as defined in the TCRA dated June 2009. Since that time, NWM has been developing the mine and heap operation and the SART plant has been idle. In August of 2010, BioteQ received notice from NWM alleging that the SART plant was not operational. BioteQ does not agree with this allegation and has initiated legal action to recover the lease payments, which were to commence in October 2010.
BioteQ Corporate Profile
BioteQ creates custom water treatment solutions to recover dissolved metals and remove sulphate from water impacted by mining, energy and industrial activities. The company’s clean technologies convert wastewater into a useful resource while delivering lower life cycle costs for water treatment. BioteQ has designed and built 14 plants at sites in Canada, the US, Mexico, Australia and China, with additional projects in development.
BioteQ’s sustainable water treatment solutions have been recognized with national and international awards for innovation and sustainability. 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
The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or the accuracy of this release.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Company, certain information contained herein constitutes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as “plan,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “believe,” “anticipate” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “might” or “will” occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the development, construction and operation of water treatment plants, variations in water quality, fluctuating metal prices, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future and other factors described in the section entitled “Risks” in the Company’s Annual Report for the Year Ended December 31, 2009. Circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions could change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.