VANCOUVER, BC – BioteQ Environmental Technologies, Inc. (TSX-V : BQE), a leader in the treatment of mine impacted waters, releases its financial and operating results for the year ended December 31, 2015. Further information on the quarterly results can be obtained from the Company’s 2015 Annual Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”).
BioteQ will hold a conference call on Thursday, April 21 at 11:00 am EDT to discuss results for the year. Participants can dial in as follows:
North America: toll free at 866-530-1553
United Kingdom: toll free at 08002790444
Switzerland: toll free at 0800200345
Participant pass code/Conference ID: 4734514
To ensure clarity and comparability with historic results, certain statements in this news release and in the MD&A are characterized as BioteQ’s “proportional” share, which means the effective portion of results that BioteQ would have reported if each of its joint ventures had been reported in accordance with past accounting standards. For further details, please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in the Company’s 2015 MD&A.
2015 Annual Financial Results
The Company reported the following results for the 2015 year:
- Revenues as reported under GAAP were $3.6 million, consistent with 2014;
- Proportional revenues for the year were $8.7 million compared to $7.8 million in 2014, an increase of 12% year over year;
- Adjusted loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (“adjusted EBITDA”) for the year was $895,000 compared to a loss of $929,000 in 2014;
- Net loss as reported under GAAP was $1.4 million compared to $1.6 million in 2014; and
- Cash and cash equivalents and short term investments, including our share held in joint ventures, was $2.1 million compared to $2.2 million at the end of 2014.
Water Treatment Operations
- BioteQ successfully completed its 12th operating season at the Raglan mine site. During the year, BioteQ treated and discharged a total of 1.1 million cubic metres of water; similar to the volume treated and discharged in 2014;
- BioteQ’s joint venture in China with partner Jiangxi Copper Company (“JCC”), operated three plants during the year. Two of the plants are located on the Dexing mine site as well as a plant on the Yinshan mine site. Both mine sites are owned by JCC. The joint venture treated a total of 4.4 million cubic metres of water and recovered 3.1 million pounds of copper from all three sites during the year.
Sales and New Technology Development:
The following is an update on key sales opportunities completed in 2015:
Seabridge Gold – Selen-IX™ Pilot Project
During the year, BioteQ concluded a Selen-IX™ pilot testing contract with Seabridge Gold, a Canadian mining company, which originally commenced in mid-2014. The pilot testing results are being used to demonstrate the capacity of the Selen-IX™ process to meet stringent discharge limits for selenium and provide engineering design data required for evaluating the overall capital and operating costs of a full scale plant that would treat up to 43,000 m3/day of wastewater.
New Selen-IX™ Pilot Project
During the year, BioteQ entered into a contract with a Canadian mining company to complete a pilot scale demonstration and evaluation of its Selen-IX™ technology to remove selenium from mine impacted water to less than 1 part per billion. In early 2016, BioteQ completed the field operations and provided final results to the customer. The total value and length of the pilot project was comparable to past Selen-IX™ pilot projects.
These Selen-IX™ pilot projects builds upon the previous pilot completed in 2013 with Teck Resources. It demonstrates the increasing need for mining companies to manage selenium concentrations in their mine water and the capabilities of BioteQ’s solution.
- During 2015, the Company recovered $408,732 value-added tax (“VAT”) receivable and paid $140,623 in related professional fees.
- The Continued Listings Committee of the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) decided to delist the Company’s common shares effective November 12, 2015. The delisting was imposed for failure by BioteQ to meet the continued listing requirements of the TSX. Subsequently, BioteQ’s shares began trading on the TSX Venture Exchange (the “TSXV”).
2015 COMMENTARY AND 2016 OUTLOOK
At the beginning of 2015, BioteQ provided financial estimates for its full year results. The following is commentary on the year end results against these estimates.
BioteQ anticipated Proportional Revenues to be in the range of $8.0 million to $8.5 million for the year. Actual results exceeded the range at $8.7 million. The increase was driven by higher than expected water volumes treated at BioteQ’s operations and additional revenue from BioteQ’s Selen-IX™ pilot projects.
For Adjusted EBITDA, BioteQ estimated our loss to be in the range of $400,000 to $700,000. BioteQ ended 2015 with an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $895,000. This loss was slightly higher than expected but an improvement over results for 2014. The higher than expected loss was largely attributable to the rapid decline in copper prices throughout the year which directly impacted the profitability of the plants in the Chinese joint venture.
BioteQ ended 2015 with $1.4 million in cash outside of its China joint venture. Although the joint venture continues to be cash flow positive, low copper prices have reduced the rate at which cash accumulates in the joint venture account and it will likely take 2-3 quarters of operations before any significant funds are available for repatriation to BioteQ’s Canadian parent entity.
BioteQ has been growing its project pipeline slowly but steadily since early 2014 and this effort has started to translate into new contracts. While many of these contracts are relatively small in monetary value, they represent initial stages of longer term projects where BioteQ can expect to generate significantly more revenue as the projects advance through the development stages.
So far in 2016, BioteQ has won contracts to provide design, construction and commissioning services for a water treatment plant at the Silvertip project in Northern BC, laboratory scale testing of Selen-IX™ on a wastewater stream at an active mineral processing operation in Northern Saskatchewan, water management consulting services for a mine site in Mongolia, and preliminary technical and economic assessments of water treatment requirements at two sites in Mexico. BioteQ has also completed detailed technical and economic assessment of a new treatment plant to be installed at an active smelter in China. The proposed new treatment plant is currently undergoing environmental permitting and BioteQ is working closely with a potential new partner on forming a joint venture to deliver the treatment plant for the smelter under a Build-Own-Operate business model following the environmental approval.
Although these projects provide significant opportunities for future one-time and recurring revenues, the short term cash flow potential is limited. As a result, since the end of 2015, BioteQ’s working capital level has declined and it is very likely that BioteQ will need to secure new sources of working capital in the form of debt or equity investments in the next quarter.
Although the company has not achieved profitability yet, the trend in BioteQ’s financial results since 2014 when the last equity financing was put in place shows significant improvement. These improvements were achieved during the time of a major decline in mining activity and commodity prices which directly reduced cash flow from its China operations, and negatively impacted prospects for new projects in the mining industry. Whether and when the Company can attain profitability and positive cash flows is uncertain. However, the Company’s management team has worked tirelessly on positioning the Company for success by getting involved in early stages of new projects, strengthening its technical team, and advancing the development and commercialization of new products including the Sulf-IX™ and Selen-IX™ processes.
Management and the Board of Directors are actively exploring potential financing options to ensure continuing operations of the business to generate future cash flows for the Company. However, while the Company has been successful in securing financing in the past, there is uncertainty whether financing will be available in the future.
2015 Financial Highlights Summary
For a complete set of Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis, please go to www.bqewater.com
(in $’000 except for per share amounts)
|less: Plant and other operating costs (excluding depreciation)||2,333||1,931||2,371|
|General and administration||2,031||2,497||3,473|
|Sales and development||1,177||1,456||1,856|
|Share of results of equity accounted joint ventures||(189)||(701)||1,057|
|Impairment of investment in joint venture||–||–||1,463|
|Depreciation and amortization||221||232||746|
|Loss before other income (expenses)||(1,907)||(1,834)||(7,099)|
|Other income – net||281||71||111|
|Net gain from legal settlement||–||50||–|
|Bad debt recovery (expense)||336||(556)||–|
|Recovery of NWM settlement||–||700||400|
|Gain on disposal of capital assets||–||7||239|
|Net loss for the year||(1,433)||(1,650)||(6,427)|
|Translation gain on foreign operations||517||398||640|
|Comprehensive (loss) for the year||(916)||(1,252)||(5,787)|
|Net loss per share (basic and diluted)||(0.02)||(0.02)||(0.09)|
(1) See “Non-GAAP Measures” in 2015 MD&A
BioteQ Corporate Profile
BioteQ is a service provider that specializes in treating mining wastewater and specific hydrometallurgical streams with the focus on reducing Life Cycle Costs while achieving compliance and introducing sustainability into water management. We have extensive expertise and operations experience in sulphide precipitation, ion exchange, alkali/lime neutralization and SART process technologies. Over the past decade, BioteQ has designed and commissioned plants at mine sites for leading organizations including Glencore Canada, Freeport-McMoRan, Jiangxi Copper and the US EPA and is currently operating six plants under long-term contracts. These plants remove dissolved metals and sulphate to well below the required regulatory discharge limits while reducing or eliminating the production of waste sludge and/or recovering valuable metals from waste streams for sale which reduces the life cycle cost of water treatment. BioteQ is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol BQE. Please visit our website at www.bqewater.com for additional information.
The Toronto Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or the accuracy of this release.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain information contained herein may not be based on historical fact and therefore constitutes “forward-looking information” under applicable Canadian securities legislation. This includes without limitation statements containing the words “plan”, “expect”, “project”, “estimate”, “intend”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “may”, “will” and other similar words or expressions. 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, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, the Company’s dependence on key personnel and contracts, uncertainty with respect to the profitability of the Company’s technologies, competition, technology risk, the Company’s ability to protect its intellectual property and proprietary information, fluctuations in commodity prices, currency risk, environmental regulation and the Company’s ability to manage growth and other factors described in the Company’s filings with the Canadian securities regulators at www.sedar.com (including without limitation the factors described in the section entitled “Risks and Uncertainties” in the Company’s MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2015). Given these risks and uncertainties, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All forward-looking information contained herein is based on management’s current expectations and the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update such forward-looking information to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.