VANCOUVER, BC – BQE Water Inc. (TSX-V: BQE), a leader in the management of mine wastewater and metallurgical bleed streams, has completed the implementation and commissioning of a metal recovery plant at the Guoda gold smelter and refinery owned by Zhaoyuan Gold Smelting Co., Ltd (“Zhaoye”).
Located in the East China coastal province of Shandong, the plant treats an arsenic laden acidic bleed stream from the smelter and selectively recovers copper and zinc as two separate sulphide concentrates using BQE Water’s patented ChemSulphide™ technology.
The project was developed and constructed under a joint venture agreement between BQE Water and Chinese partner, Beijing based MWT Water Treatment Project Limited Company (“MWT”). BQE Water provided its technology, engineering services and a cash contribution of CAD $100,000 while MWT contributed financing of approximately CAD $3M and was responsible for permitting and plant construction. BQE Water Shanghai, the wholly owned subsidiary of BQE Water, will manage plant operations and receive an operating fee from the joint venture. BQE Water is also further entitled to 20% of the joint venture profits.
“We are extremely pleased with the successful completion of the plant commissioning at Guoda,” stated David Kratochvil, President and CEO of BQE Water. “This project increases the portfolio of plants generating recurring revenue in China, proves our new business model where the value of BQE Water’s metal recovery technology can be monetized without the need for major financial contribution to the plant capital cost, demonstrates the ability of our technology to manage arsenic rich smelter streams cost effectively and provides a showcase plant for business growth in China’s smelting market.”
Upon completion of commissioning, the plant entered continuous operation in September 2018 and is currently producing approximately 8,000 lbs of copper and 180,000 lbs of zinc contained in high grade concentrates per month. The copper concentrate is sold to the Guoda smelter while the zinc concentrate is sold to local metal traders.
BQE Water developed the ChemSulphide™ technology as a means of recovering metals of value from mine wastewater and has applied the technology at mine sites around the world. The Guoda plant represents the first application of the technology at a smelter on an arsenic rich stream which is technically difficult and costly to treat.
About Smelter Waste
While mine wastewaters are often dilute and contain relatively low concentrations of metals, smelter waste streams are typically metal rich and provide an excellent target for recovering value from waste. The challenge of smelter waste streams is that valuable metals such as copper and zinc are often contained in streams with high levels of deleterious constituents such as arsenic. The ability to separate and selectively recover the metals from deleterious substances is key to reducing the cost of smelter waste management.
About China Smelter Market
Over the last two decades, China has become the single largest metal smelting and refining market globally. Most of the Chinese smelter capacity relies on metal concentrate imports from other parts of the world. Since most metal concentrates contain impurities, the metal imports have increased the need for cost-effective and environmentally responsible methods of managing these impure substances. This combined with Chinese government regulations focused on addressing pollution management caused by rapid industrialization, provides a large captive market for clean technologies.
About BQE Water
BQE Water is a service provider specializing in water treatment and management for metals mining, smelting, and refining industry. We focus on reducing Life Cycle Costs through solutions that reduce risks and long-term environmental liabilities while introducing sustainability into the overall water management plan. We have extensive expertise in the removal, recovery, and/or recycle of a broad range of metals, sulphate, selenium, cyanide, ammonia and other nitrogen species. BQE Water has commercialized several water treatment technologies and built plants at mine sites around the world for organizations including Glencore, Jiangxi Copper, Freeport-McMoRan and the US EPA. We monetize the value of technologies and know-how through ongoing operation of treatment plants. Since 2008, we have built and are now operating three large treatment plants in China under a joint venture agreement with Jiangxi Copper. BQE Water is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol BQE. Visit www.bqewater.com for more 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, 2017). 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.