VANCOUVER, BC – BQE Water Inc. (TSX-V: BQE), a leader in the treatment and management of mine impacted waters, has been issued a US patent for its Selen-IX™ process technology. Patent 9,963,360 covers key aspects of the company’s process technology for the selective removal of dissolved selenium from aqueous solutions and is valid until April 2035.
BQE Water developed Selen-IX™ specifically to remove selenium from industrial wastewater to the most stringent limits in the US and Canada without relying on dilution in the receiving environment. The process fixes selenium into stable refractory non-hazardous solids suitable for co-disposal with tailings and potential offtake by steel producers. It is also entirely non-biological and does not increase the risks of selenium bioavailability across treatment and/or acute fish toxicity which are real risks for biological treatment systems.
Following four integrated pilot plant campaigns, an industrial scale demonstration, detailed engineering design and multiple third-party technical reviews, Selen-IX™ was selected as the treatment process for three mining projects in Canada. Two of these projects have since received regulatory approvals to proceed. The detailed engineering and equipment procurement has been initiated for the first commercial Selen-IX™ plant to be installed at the Kemess Mine owned by Centerra Gold in Northern BC. The plant is expected to treat up to 6,400 m3/d of mine impacted water.
David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, commented, “The issue of the US patent is a great achievement for our technical team and a key component of BQE Water’s long-term IP management strategy related to selenium control in industrial wastewaters. The concurrent construction of the first Selen-IX™ commercial plant provides yet another demonstration of BQE Water’s ability to turn inventions into practical reality and make new technology available to industry to solve challenging water problems.”
Selen-IX™ is a water treatment process technology that combines ion exchange and electro-reduction to remove selenium from large volumes of wastewater. As a purely physico-chemical process, Selen-IX™ is insensitive to water temperature and is highly adaptable to variability in water flows and selenium levels.
Selenium is a naturally occurring element essential to all life forms in trace amounts. It is transferred into water through the weathering of plant life, soils and bedrocks. Selenium is also released into water as a by-product of mining activities at an accelerated rate. When selenium is present in water at higher concentrations, it is harmful to most fish and other aquatic life. As a result, selenium management has been identified as an important environmental issue by regulators and the industry in North America.
About BQE Water
BQE Water is a service provider specializing in water treatment and management for the mining and metallurgical 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 also provide plant operation and maintenance services and currently operate several plants under long-term contract. 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.
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