VANCOUVER, BC – BQE Water Inc. (TSX-V: BQE), a leader in the management of mine wastewaters and metallurgical bleed streams, has successfully completed a pilot demonstration for a project in BC requiring the simultaneous removal of sulphate and selenium from mine water to comply with provincial water quality regulations. In the pilot, sulphate was reduced to as low as 30 mg/L and selenium to less than 1 ug/L, exceeding current provincial limits of 120 to 400 mg/L and 2 ug/L respectively.
The project required BQE Water to complete an assessment of possible treatment options that would meet water quality targets while minimizing waste by-product generation and disposal. The outcome of the assessment was a treatment approach that combined nanofiltration with the selenium electro-reduction circuit that forms the Company’s Selen-IX™ process technology.
David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, commented, “The ability to manage sulphate and selenium simultaneously is of interest to a number of mining projects in BC and this pilot confirms to both industry and regulatory agencies that an effective treatment process is available. The success of this pilot builds on BQE Water’s prior experience with sulphate removal using nanofiltration and selenium removal by electro-reduction to create an important new tool in our technological toolbox.”
Adds Farzad Mohamm, Director of Technology for BQE Water, “The significance of this pilot project is threefold: it provides the mining industry with a single treatment process to meet sulphate and selenium regulations simultaneously, it broadens the applicability of BQE Water’s electro-reduction know-how and its application to other target constituents of concern, and it enables the application of nanofiltration in mining without generating a waste liquid brine.”
In addition to confirming the ability of the treatment process to comply with regulatory limits, the pilot also demonstrated the ability of the process to adapt to fluctuations in water quality and generate stable non-hazardous solids for convenient disposal at site.
When sulphide minerals are exposed to oxygen, sulphate is released into mine water in quantities that greatly exceed typical levels found in surface or ground water. Although not usually toxic, sulphate can have negative impacts on downstream environments and several jurisdictions around the world have started to regulate sulphate.
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. 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 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.
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, 2018). 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.