VANCOUVER, BC – BQE Water Inc. (TSX-V: BQE), a leader in the treatment and management of mine impacted waters, releases its consolidated financial results for the quarter ending March 31, 2017.
Q1 2017 Highlights
- Revenues as reported under GAAP, which includes project activity but excludes joint venture activity, were $668,000 compared $391,000 in Q1 2016;
- Proportional revenues, which includes both project and joint venture activity, were $1.1 million compared to $1.5 million in Q1 2016;
- Net loss as reported under GAAP was $573,000 compared to $816,000 in Q1 2016;
- Adjusted loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”) was $497,000 compared to a loss of $584,000 in Q1 2016;
- Cash and cash equivalents reported under GAAP as of March 31, 2017 was $1.4 million compared to $2.2 million at December 31, 2016; and
- Proportional cash and cash equivalents, which includes BQE Water’s share held in joint ventures, as of March 31, 2017 was $1.7 million compared to $3 million at the end of 2016. The reduction in cash during the quarter was primarily due to settlement of accounts payables and liabilities.
Joint venture with Jiangxi Copper Company, China
BQE Water’s joint venture in China with partner Jiangxi Copper Company (“JCC”) operated three plants during the quarter. Operating results for all three plants are as follows:
|(in ’000s)||3 months ended Mar. 31|
|Water treated (cubic metres)||1,934||4,709|
|Copper produced (pounds)||303||918|
The reduction in water volume treated and copper recovered was mainly due to lower precipitation in the region and limited feedwater available to the plants. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, both have increased significantly and are now close to budgeted expectations on a year to date basis. This will be reflected in subsequent results.
Sales and Project Highlights
In February 2017, BQE Water completed a pilot testing contract with a Canadian resource company which originally commenced in mid-2016. The pilot testing results demonstrated the capacity of the Selen-IX™ process to remove selenium to meet stringent discharge limits and are currently being reviewed with the customer to determine the advancement of the project.
In Q1 2017, BQE Water began to provide engineering services for a mine located in the Northern Interior of BC. Following the successful pilot demonstration with the client in 2016, BQE Water was contracted to assist with their permit application and to conduct detailed engineering for a water treatment system to remove selenium and metals using BQE Water’s proprietary Selen‐IX™ and ChemSulphide® technologies.
Also during the quarter, BQE Water continued to provide consulting services for several water treatment projects in Canada, United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. These services covered a broad spectrum of activities including operation support, development of site specific water management strategies and various stages of water treatment assessment for the removal of metals, sulphate and selenium. BQE Water expects that these activities will continue over the next several quarters and may lead to new activities as water management measures proceed to implementation.
Lab Testing Services
During Q1 2017, BQE Water continued to perform lab scale testing of its technologies at various mine sites with customers in Canada and Latin America. These tests will allow mine sites to assess BQE Water’s technologies and provide high level cost estimates for possible full-scale plants. If results prove favourable, they could lead to additional services including pilot scale testing, design, construction and operation of full-scale plants in the future.
Q1 2017 COMMENTARY AND OUTLOOK
The company’s results for Q1 2017 builds upon the progress achieved in 2016. The first quarter of the year typically has the lowest revenue due to the seasonal nature of operations at the Raglan Mine and China joint venture sites. However, as previously noted, BQE Water began the year with a strong backlog of projects and increased BQE Water’s Q1 project revenue by 71% over the prior year’s quarter.
Seasonal conditions around the China plants were drier than normal and as a result, the plants recovered 616,000 lbs less copper compared to the prior year. This resulted in a decline of $688,000 in copper revenue compared to last year. However, subsequent to the end of the quarter, copper recovery has increased significantly and are currently at budgeted levels on a year to date basis. The revenues will be reflected in the second quarter results.
Overall, BQE Water reduced its Adjusted EBITDA loss by 15% compared to the same quarter in 2016 as BQE Water maintained a focused and disciplined cost structure while continuing to target activities in key markets for future growth.
The current backlog of projects are the results of efforts over the past several years. BQE Water has worked on positioning the company for success by getting involved in early stages of new projects, strengthening its technical team, and advancing the development and commercialization of new products including our Sulf-IX™ and Selen-IX™ processes. BQE Water has also restructured its expenditures during this time to preserve working capital while continuing to expand its project pipeline and deliver services in a strategic and disciplined manner. BQE Water expects to build on this throughout the current year.
Q1 2017 Financial Highlights Summary
For a complete set of Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis, please go to www.bqewater.com
(in $’000 except for per share amounts)
|less: Plant & other operating costs (excl depreciation)||418||219|
|General and administration||495||426|
|Sales and development||288||349|
|Depreciation and amortization||33||57|
|Share of results of equity accounted joint ventures||(34)||100|
|Loss from operations and joint ventures||(525)||(790)|
|Other expenses – net||(48)||(26)|
|Net loss for the period||(573)||(816)|
|Translation gain (loss) on foreign operations||9||(263)|
|Comprehensive loss for the period||(564)||(1,079)|
|Net loss per share (basic and diluted)||(0.01)||(0.01)|
1See “Non-GAAP Measures” in 2015 MD&A
About BQE Water
BQE Water is a service provider specializing in water treatment and management for the mining and metallurgical industry. We are focused on reducing Life Cycle Costs through customized 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. A key part of our business is our involvement in the ongoing operation and maintenance of treatment plants. We currently operate several plants under long-term contract and provide operations support to other plants globally. Our capabilities in implementing technical innovation and plant operations provides us with first-hand experience to deliver practical and actionable consultancy services. The company operates water testing laboratories and mobile pilot treatment facilities in North and South America, and China. BQE Water is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol BQE. Please 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, 2016). 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.