VANCOUVER, BC – BioteQ Environmental Technologies, Inc. (TSX : BQE), a leader in the treatment of mine impacted waters, releases its financial and operating results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2014. Further information on the quarterly results can be obtained from the Company’s Q3 2014 Quarterly Report which includes the Condensed Consolidated Interim Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”).
BioteQ will hold a conference call on November 13 at 11:00 AM EDT to discuss results for the quarter. Participants can dial in as follows:
North America: toll free at 800 505 9568
United Kingdom: toll free at 0800 279 0444
Switzerland: toll free at 0800 200 345
Participant pass code: 7130210
As noted at the beginning of 2013, due to changes in Generally Accepted Accounting Standards (“GAAP”), the results of the Company’s joint ventures are accounted for as equity investments in BioteQ’s financial statements. In prior years before 2013, the results of the Company’s joint ventures were accounted for through proportionate consolidation.
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 Q3 2014 MD&A.
Q3 2014 Financial Results
The Company has reported strong financial results for the third quarter. Highlights of results include:
- Revenues for the quarter as reported under GAAP were $1,722,000 compared to $1,234,000 in 2013, an increase of 40% compared to the prior year;
- Proportional revenues for the quarter were $3,341,000 compared to $2,206,000 in 2013, an increase of 51% compared to the prior year;
- Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (“adjusted EBITDA”), excluding the impairment of Bisbee investment in 2013, was income of $1,400,000 compared to a loss of $399,000 in the prior year; and
- Net income for the quarter as reported under GAAP was $1,166,000 compared to net loss of $2,106,000 in 2013.
Net income and adjusted EBITDA include the impact of one-time gains from our legal settlements with Aditya Birla and NWM Mining.
- Subsequent to the quarter-end, NWM Mining Corporation (“NWM”) made the final payment of $300,000 towards the legal settlement reach back in April 2012. The recovery of the bad debt was recorded in Q3 2014.
- On October 14, 2014, a settlement was reached in BioteQ’s litigation with Aditya Birla (“Birla”). Under the terms of the settlement, BioteQ has paid $73,000 (AUD 75,000) to Birla. Birla has taken ownership of all demobilization obligations and residual plant equipment currently at their Mt. Gordon mine site. Both parties also agreed to release and withdraw their claims against each other. The settlement agreement involves no admission of liability or violation of law by either party, and bars the parties from pursuing further associated claims in the future. For the period ended September 30, 2014, the Company has recognized the settlement payment of $73,000 (AUD 75,000) and reversed the demobilization and other liabilities associated with Mt. Gordon mine site previously accrued. The net gain on the settlement is $49,918.
Water Treatment Operations
- In June, BioteQ commenced operations at the Raglan mine site in Quebec. The current operating season is expected to continue until the end of November. BioteQ staff will also be operating a lime treatment plant for water that is not treated by BioteQ’s ChemSulphide® plant. During the quarter, we treated and discharged 743,000 cubic metres of water.
- Water treatment operation at the Dexing mine site, a joint venture with mine site owner Jiangxi Copper Company (“JCC”), treated 2.6 million cubic metres of water and recovered a total of 824,000 pounds of copper compared to 2.4 million cubic metres of water treated and 478,000 pounds of copper recovered. The increase in copper recovery was largely due to significantly higher concentrations of copper available in the feed water compared to the prior year. Based on current estimates, BioteQ expects the plant to recover approximately 2.1 million pounds of copper for the year.
New Plants – Joint Venture with JCC
In the current year, BioteQ has completed construction and commissioning of two new copper recovery plants in its Chinese joint venture. The current status of each plant is as follows:
- The plant at JCC’s Yinshan mine site began operations in early June. During Q3, the plant processed 640,000 cubic metres of wastewater and recovered 138,000 pounds of copper. Year to date, the plant has treated 900,000 cubic metres of water and recovered 183,000 pounds of copper. The plant is expected to recover approximately 280,000 pounds of copper for the year.
- A second copper recovery plant at JCC’s Dexing mine site was commissioned and began operations during Q3. During the quarter, the plant processed 447,000 cubic metres of wastewater and recovered 40,000 pounds of copper. The plant is expected to recover approximately 240,000 pounds of copper for the year.
Sales and New Technology Development
Since the personnel changes announced at the beginning of the year, management has been actively engaging existing and potential new customers to advance joint business opportunities and have been working with several new channel partners to broaden BioteQ’s outreach and capacity to execute projects.
The following is an update on key opportunities in progress:
Selenium Removal – Selen-IXTM
In Q2 2014, BioteQ secured a contract with a Canadian company to conduct pilot scale testing of its Selen-IX™ technology for selenium removal. Under the terms of the agreement, BioteQ has deployed its mobile pilot plant that was built in 2013. The pilot testing will 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. During the quarter, BioteQ continued with piloting and based on preliminary results, have expanded the scope of testing with the client.
The current value of the contract is now approximately $1 million and the pilot campaign is expected to be completed in Q1 2015.
EcoMetales Limited – BioSulphide® Plant Design
In Q2 2014, BioteQ secured a technical services contract with our Chilean strategic partner EcoMetales Limited (“ECL”) for the detailed process engineering of a smelter effluent treatment plant using our BioSulphide® process. The plant removes arsenic from wastewater originating from a smelter operation in Chile. The objective of the project is to reduce the mass and volume of hazardous waste generated, as well as to improve water re-use from the existing process. BioteQ’s work on the project has continued throughout the quarter and expect to be completed by early Q1 2015. Upon completion of the current contract, the client will begin regulatory reviews and approvals for the project and internally assess the feasibility of the proposed plant.
While the Company is pleased with its results for Q3, BioteQ expects revenues and cash flow to decline in Q4 2014 and into Q1 2015 as seasonal operation at Raglan concludes, copper recovery plants in China complete annual maintenance and water availability in the region declines, and the current selenium pilot operation concludes.
BioteQ continues to project Proportional Revenues to be in the range of $6.8 million to $7.3 million for the year. In terms of its Adjusted EBITDA forecast, BioteQ expects a significant improvement in the loss for the year. The settlement with Birla has ensured BioteQ will not need to incur significant legal expenditures in Q4 as originally expected. Also, the final settlement payment from NWM has been received. BioteQ now anticipates Adjusted EBITDA loss to be in the range $1 million to $1.5 million, an improvement from our prior range of $2.1 million to $2.6 million.
Over the past quarter, BioteQ has made significant progress in establishing a pipeline of opportunities consistent with the Company’s focus on recurring revenue generating projects. This activity has included offering expanded services that could lead to projects in the future, engaging with new and current customers on future water treatment needs, and opening discussions with new channel and strategic partners. As previously noted, the new sales model being implemented will take time to begin bringing cash flow into the Company and to date, BioteQ has not secured new contracts for completion in the next 3 to 6 months. BioteQ’s near term priority will be on closing projects for this period.
Although the Company believes it can manage its working capital through the next 3 to 6 months, non-operational sources of capital may be required beyond this period.
Q3 2014 Financial Highlights Summary
For a complete set of Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis, please go to www.bqewater.com
|(unaudited, in $’000 except for per share amounts)|
|3 months ended Sep. 30||9 months ended Sep. 30|
|less: Plant and other operating costs (excluding depreciation)||684||533||1,299||1,795|
|General and administration||459||726||1,999||2,763|
|Sales and development||235||523||1,098||1,446|
|Share of results of equity accounted joint ventures||(494)||(33)||(816)||(350)|
|Impairment of investment in joint venture||–||1,401||–||1,401|
|Depreciation and amortization||56||123||174||396|
|Loss before other income (expense)||760||(2,069)||(1,217)||(4,593)|
|Other income (expense) – net||106||(37)||108||70|
|Bad debt (expense) recovery||300||–||222||400|
|Gain on disposal of equipment||–||–||3||239|
|Net income (loss) for the quarter||1,166||(2,106)||(972)||(3,964)|
|Translation gain (loss) on foreign operations||265||(150)||378||403|
|Comprehensive income (loss) for the quarter||1,431||(2,256)||(594)||(3,561)|
|Net income (loss) per share (basic and diluted)||0.01||(0.03)||(0.01)||(0.06)|
|Adjusted EBITDA1 excluding impairment of Bisbee investment||1,400||(399)||(384)||(1,619)|
- see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in the Company’s Q3 2014 MD&A
BioteQ Corporate Profile
BioteQ is an innovative clean technology leader in global mine water treatment, serving the mining, metal smelting, refining and hydrometallurgical sectors. The company has commercially proven patented technologies and operational capabilities to help customers achieve compliance with stringent regulations cost effectively while minimizing waste and maximizing water recovery. Over the past decade, BioteQ has designed and commissioned plants at mine sites for leading organizations including Glencore-Xstrata, 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 under the symbol BQE. Please visit our website at www.bqewater.com for additional information.
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
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 Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2013 and the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2013). 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.