VANCOUVER, BC – BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. (TSX:BQE), a leader in the treatment of metal and sulphate contaminated water, reports that it has signed an agreement with NWM Mining Corp. (formerly Columbia Metals Corporation Limited (TSX VENTURE:COL)) for operations management of the Lluvia de Oro – Jojoba gold mines located in the State of Sonora, Mexico.
BioteQ is nearing completion of commissioning of its water treatment plant located at the Lluvia de Oro site and will now manage all operations activities at the site on behalf of NWM for a management fee. The new agreement, effective October 1, provides for management fees based on the value of all metals recovered in the combined process plants, including gold, silver and copper. BioteQ will provide for all operating and development costs, and will be responsible for managing site operations and operating the gold plant as well as BioteQ’s SART plant. The new management arrangement will be in place until BioteQ recovers all operating and development costs, original capital investment plus 30%, and loans to NWM, including accrued interest. It is expected that the management fee arrangement will be in place for less than three years based on the current production plan for the project. Following recovery of its investment and fees, BioteQ will revert to the original operating arrangement between BioteQ and NWM, whereby BioteQ will earn fees from reagent regeneration and a share of copper production.
“The new management agreement provides BioteQ with control over site production and operations, ensuring that BioteQ’s operating expertise can be applied to optimize the gold processing plant and water treatment operations. The new financial terms entitle BioteQ to a fee equivalent to all metal revenues from production at the site, which accelerates the capital payback to BioteQ and is expected to generate additional revenues, compared to the previous agreement,” stated Brad Marchant, BioteQ’s CEO.
The first gold was poured at the site in July of this year and production has been increasing at a steady rate. BioteQ will ramp up production using conventional heap leach technology combined with BioteQ’s SART plant for copper recovery and cyanide recycle to meet expected production in 2009 of 28,000 ounces of gold, 31,000 ounces of silver and 700,000 pounds of copper.
Project Description – Lluvia de Oro – Jojoba Gold Project
NWM’s Lluvia de Oro Gold Property is located in northern Mexico, approximately 2.5 hours drive from Tucson, Arizona. The property previously operated as a gold heap leach. La Jojoba project, also owned by NWM, is located approximately 4 kilometres from Lluvia de Oro. Both gold deposits contain cyanide-soluble copper minerals, which consume cyanide during the gold extraction process, and can build up in the metallurgical process solutions. This can hinder gold extraction and create an environmental concern. BioteQ’s sulphide technology can be used to recover copper from the gold leach solution, producing a sulphide product that can be shipped to a refinery for recycling into copper products. In addition, the technology recovers soluble cyanide and copper-complexed cyanide from the gold leach solution, allowing the cyanide to be recycled to the gold process.
It is expected that the BioteQ plant located at the Lluvia de Oro site will service both gold operations for water treatment requirements.
Production for the project has been initiated at the Lluvia de Oro site with production from La Jojoba scheduled to commence in 2011. The 2009 production budget for Lluvia is 2.4 million tonnes of ore producing 28,000 ounces of gold, 31,000 ounces of silver, 700,000 pounds of copper and 1.2 million pounds of recycled cyanide at a direct operating cost of $US 7.04 per tonne of ore. In the second year of operation the plant is expected to process 3.5 million tonnes of ore and produce 40,000 ounces of gold, 60,000 ounces of silver, 860,000 pounds of copper and 2 million pounds of cyanide recycled at a direct operating cost of $US 7.52 per tonne of ore processed, which includes incremental development costs for La Jojoba.
The new technology offered by BioteQ is an important development for future gold mining operations. The technology is an improvement on the SART process developed by SGS Lakefield Research and Teck Corporation, and is used by permission on a license-free basis. Many of the known large gold deposits in the world are complexed with copper, and some occur as copper-gold porphyry deposits. The new technology offers a cost effective route to recover the gold using a conventional cyanide system and at the same time recover cyanide-soluble copper that ordinarily would pose a technical, environmental and economic impediment to the development of some of these large copper-gold systems.
BioteQ Corporate Profile
BioteQ builds, owns and operates water treatment plants for the worlds mining companies and utility operators, reducing environmental liabilities while generating revenue from waste. The Company’s commercially proven technology treats acid mine drainage and other metal-laden waste water by sequentially removing metals and sulphate, producing saleable metal products and clean water that can be discharged safely to the environment. BioteQ is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, and trades on the TSX under the symbol BQE. For additional information, 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.