VANCOUVER, BC – BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. (TSX VENTURE:BQE) reports that it has signed a final agreement with Birla Mt Gordon Pty Ltd (“Birla”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Aditya Birla Minerals Limited, for the development and operation of a water treatment facility located at Birla’s Mt Gordon copper mine in Queensland, Australia.
Project Description – Mt Gordon Mine
The Mt Gordon mine, located near Mt. Isa in Queensland, Australia, currently produces copper concentrate from underground mining and conventional flotation milling operations. Mine drainage from waste dumps and low grade stockpiles is acidic, containing copper, nickel, cobalt and other metals that require treatment prior to discharge of the water. The planned water treatment project is to build a BioteQ ChemSulphide™ plant for the recovery of a copper product, and a nickel-cobalt product, as well as treat the water to meet local discharge regulations. Based on preliminary engineering completed by BioteQ, the plant will have the capacity to treat approximately 2.2 billion litres of acid water per year containing approximately 1.2 million pounds of copper and 75,000 pounds of cobalt and 21,000 pounds of nickel. Following the metal recovery stages the water will be treated to discharge quality and released or recycled at the site. Production estimates are preliminary and are subject to detailed engineering. Operating costs are expected to be consistent with other BioteQ metal recovery plants and a final capital cost estimate is pending completion of detailed engineering for construction.
The plant design will be similar in process and size to BioteQ’s Raglan operation in Quebec and the Inco North Mine facility currently in construction engineering. The project will be managed by Dr. Mike Adams, a consulting metallurgist contracted by BioteQ and based in Perth, Australia. The current project schedule is to complete plant construction during 2007, which is dependent on equipment delivery and applicability of certain existing site infrastructure.
In addition to favourable project economics to construct a sustainable water treatment facility, the plant will provide environmental benefits to the Mt Gordon mine.
Key Agreement Terms
The final agreement signed outlines a build, own, operate commercial arrangement where BioteQ will provide for all project financing, design, construction and operation of the plant. BioteQ will receive 100% of the revenues from metal sales until the capital is repaid, plus an agreed return on investment, then the net revenues from metal sales (gross revenues less certain costs and royalties) will be shared equally with Birla. BioteQ will be the operator of the plant.
The agreement is subject to the parties obtaining any necessary approvals, authorisations and permits as well as completion of a mutually agreed project plan and valuation for certain existing equipment that will be used in the construction of the plant.
BioteQ Corporate Profile
BioteQ is establishing itself as a leader in the treatment of acid contaminated water through the use of its patented BioSulphide® Process and the ChemSulphide™ Process. Focused on the mining industry, BioteQ has partnered with leading metal producers including Phelps Dodge, Breakwater, INCO, Jiangxi Copper, Codelco and Xstrata 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.
On behalf of the Board of Directors