VANCOUVER, BC – BQE Water Inc. (TSX-V: BQE). As COVID-19 reshapes our reality, we wanted to provide an update on the corporate measures we have taken to respond to the virus and to answer the many questions we have been receiving relating to our operations.
“More than anything, the health and safety of our staff, families, clients and partners are paramount to the steps we have taken,” said David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water. “Last week, we initiated a work from home policy and asked staff to engage in active social distancing. Other steps we took were to cancel all non-essential travel, put into effect self-quarantines for any out of province travels and reduced face-to-face contact by holding all meetings online.”
The water treatment plants in Jiangxi province are operating as scheduled. These plants, which discharge water into the environment, were not impacted by the travel bans and lockdowns in China as water treatment is an essential service. The treatment plant at the Guoda smelter in Shandong province stopped operating in January due to the lockdown and resumed operation in late February. This plant does not discharge water and instead operates in a fully recycled loop. Construction of the SART plants at Zhongkuang and Zhaojin were suspended for two months but have since resumed. Delays of approximately one quarter are expected to bring each plant into operation.
Our Canadian operations have experienced some travel delays recently but services for our clients are ongoing as these sites have water that require treatment. The new Selen-IX™ plant in Northern BC remains on schedule to complete commissioning in Q2. All BQE Water staff working at each project site are local with travel organized by the mine owners on chartered flights. This minimizes possible future interruptions in our ability to provide operational services due to either domestic travel restrictions and/or reduced availability of commercial flights.
Engineering design work for the two new Selen-IX™ projects in the US continues uninterrupted. Delays in the fabrication and construction stages may occur if interruptions to North American supply chains and construction industry activity extend through Q2. With both projects driven by the need for timely regulatory compliance, there is great significance placed on proceeding in an expedient manner.
Although the Company is not immune to disruptions in global economic activity caused by COVID-19, impacts are currently expected to be mitigated by our commercial business model, the nature of our business, and the new contracts recently signed. Specifically, the majority of our revenues are derived from ongoing plant operations with the treatment of contaminated water considered an essential service. In many cases, mines will be required to continue water treatment even if metal production stops. Lastly, our new contracts are regulatory driven and are essential to the respective projects. As this is a fast-evolving situation, Company management will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide additional updates as needed.
About BQE Water
BQE Water is a service provider specializing in water treatment and management for metals mining, smelting and refining. We are helping to transform the way the industry thinks about water in the context of natural resource projects by offering services and expertise which enables more sustainable water management practices and improved overall project performance at reduced risks. BQE Water invests in innovation and has developed unique intellectual property through the commercialization of several new technologies at mine sites around the world for organizations including Glencore, Jiangxi Copper, Freeport-McMoRan and the US EPA. 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.
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