VANCOUVER, BC – BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. (TSX VENTURE:BQE), is pleased to report that the company has signed the construction contract with Summit County Open Space and Trails Department (“Summit County”) and the Town of Breckenridge (the “Town”) in Colorado to provide its technology to treat water from the Wellington Oro Mine, which is located near Breckenridge. The selection of the BioteQ technology was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) as the preferred technology for the site, based on the results of site pilot studies last year. Construction engineering and equipment procurement have been initiated for the plant, which is scheduled for completion and commissioning in 2006.
BioteQ is providing the technology on a fee basis for the Wellington Oro site, including design and construction fees. The Company will invoice the Town and County on a progress payment basis during the project. The contract is defined in three distinct phases. The first phase, preparation of the design criteria and preliminary plant engineering, is now complete and the first progress payment, $US 59,000, will be invoiced with the submission of the preliminary design report. Phase two, detailed engineering and drawings for construction, is now in progress and will provide the final project construction costs, or the Guaranteed Maximum Price, and will be invoiced for a total of $US 89,000 on completion. Phase three, plant construction, will be invoiced on a progress basis; $US 310,000 on commencement, $US 550,000 on completion of commissioning, and the balance of the Guaranteed Maximum Price on submission of the final report following commissioning. The primary commissioning criteria is the fourteen (14) day average operating results for the plant must meet certain requirements, which include discharge limits of 0.225 mg/L zinc and 0.004 mg/L cadmium within a pH range of 6 to 9.
The Wellington Oro Mine, which is located 2 miles east of Breckenridge, operated as a zinc-silver mine and has been closed since the 1970’s. Drainage from the underground mining area produces an acidic wastewater that requires treatment before discharge to the French Gulch tributary of the Blue River. The proposed BioteQ plant, with a design capacity of 150 US gallons per minute, or approximately 300 million litres per year, will be designed to recover zinc, lead and cadmium into a zinc-rich concentrate product for shipment off site for final refining. The BioteQ process offers significant benefits for this site as it does not produce any waste metal-laden sludge for long term storage at the site and produces water for direct discharge to the environment, similar to BioteQ’s Raglan operation.
BioteQ will be responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of the treatment plant and ongoing process maintenance. Fees for ongoing process maintenance will be included in a separate contract with the Town. Lyntek, a Denver based engineering and construction company, is BioteQ’s partner on the project and will provide detailed engineering and construction management services for the proposed plant as well as ongoing operational support.
BioteQ is establishing itself as a leader in the treatment of acid contaminated water through the use of its patented BioSulphide® Process. Focused on the mining industry, BioteQ has partnered with leading metal producers including Phelps Dodge, Breakwater INCO, Jiangxi Copper and Falconbridge 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. The Wellington Oro project is the first BioteQ project involving the EPA.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Brad Marchant, President & CEO