VANCOUVER, BC – BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. (TSX VENTURE:BQE) is pleased to report that it has signed a confidentiality and technology development agreement with the Institute for Innovation in Mining and Metallurgy, a subsidiary of Codelco Chile, for the development of water treatment and metal recovery technologies for application at the Andina Division of Codelco. The companies have agreed to evaluate BioteQ’s technology, commencing with laboratory testwork, to determine if industrial application at Andina is feasible. The metal recovery technology to be evaluated is the same as currently applied commercially at the Copreco plant in Bisbee, Arizona and could be used at Andina to recover copper from both heap leach solutions and acid mine drainage. In addition, water treatment technology to reduce concentrations of sulphate discharged to the environment, according to Chilean environmental regulations, will be evaluated using ion-exchange technology, which could be a new application of BioteQ’s expertise.
The Andina copper mine, located near Santiago, Chile, currently produces approximately 250,000 tonnes of copper concentrate per year and also recovers copper from low grade stockpiles using leaching followed by SX-EW. Preliminary estimates completed by BioteQ indicate profitable operation for treatment of more than 8,000 cubic meters of acid rock drainage per day containing approximately 5,000 to 10,000 tonnes (11 to 22 million pounds) per year of copper. Bench scale testwork is planned to confirm the technical and economic viability of applying BioteQ’s technology for copper recovery, similar to that in operation at the Bisbee plant in Arizona. If the companies agree that the testwork is successful, then larger scale piloting or process demonstration and an engineering feasibility study would be carried out.
Testwork is also planned for the companies to evaluate jointly an ion-exchange technology to reduce the concentration of sulphate in effluents discharged to the environment. Under Chilean environmental regulations, mine effluents discharged to the environment must contain less than 1000 mg/L sulphate. As noted above for the copper recovery application, if the companies agree that the initial testwork is successful and warrants further development then piloting or larger scale process demonstration and an engineering feasibility study would follow.
Codelco Chile and IM2 profile
Codelco Chile is the largest copper producer in the world, having approximately 20% of the total global copper reserves. In 2005, Codelco shipped 2.0 million tonnes of copper. The Codelco mining operations are carried out through its Divisions: Codelco Norte, El Teniente, Salvador and Andina, which are located in Central and Northern Chile. The Institute for Innovation in Mining and Metallurgy (IM2) is a subsidiary of Codelco Chile. Created by Codelco in 1998 to deal with technological challenges as part of remaining competitive, IM2 had a portfolio of 130 projects in 2005, serving all of Codelco’s operating Divisions.
Director, Employee and Consultant Stock Options
Pursuant to the Company’s existing stock option plan, it has allocated director, employee and consultant stock options to purchase up to 400,000 common shares in the capital of the Company at a price of $1.70 per share expiring September 13, 2011.
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 related sulphide technologies. 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.
On behalf of the Board of Directors