Bioteq gears up for summer work on treatment, metals recovery projectsBioteQ Environmental Technologies has made further progress on three major projects incorporating its patented BioSulphide process, the company reported recently. BioteQ has targeted the mining industry, forming partnerships with global metal producers including Phelps Dodge and Falconbridge to design, build and operate water treatment plants. The Vancouver company's unique water treatment process treats acid contaminated water and recovers saleable metals, generating income for the plant owner while meeting new, stricter environmental regulations.
In New Brunswick, BioteQ has signed a contract with Denison Environmental Services (DES), a division of Denison Mines, to manage certain aspects of BioteQ's contract with Breakwater Resources subsidiary CanZinco for
water treatment services at the Caribou and Restigouche mine sites (a joint project with Breakwater Resources). DES specializes in mine closure and decommissioning, wastewater treatment operations and water monitoring management, treatment plant maintenance, tailings management and site reclamation services. The firm currently operates ten water treatment plants under contract at various sites in Ontario and Newfoundland.
The contract with DES includes preparation of operating and maintenance manuals, database development and management, regulatory reporting and site management services. DES will also be involved in the design and implementation of the tailings recovery project, beginning later this year. DES will charge BioteQ a fixed monthly fee for data management and management of site reporting as well as variable fees for specialized services.
Throughout May, BioteQ and DES have been working on operator contracts, site data collection and reporting procedures, preparation of operator and safety manuals, maintenance planning and cost reporting. This work is in preparation for July when BioteQ will assume responsibility for site water treatment at both sites.
The lime treatment plants, designed to treat water from the underground mine at Caribou and surface drainage at Restigouche, have resumed operation and BioteQ is now re-starting its BioSulphide plant to coincide with re-start of water treatment operations at Caribou. BioteQ owns the metals recovered at Caribou. Restigouche will remain strictly a lime treatment plant.
At the Raglan plant in Quebec (a joint project with Falconbridge), BioteQ personnel began startup activities in April in preparation for 2004 water treatment operations. It is expected that mine drainage will be available for treatment during June, based on historic spring run-off data. The plant generator has been successfully commissioned, allowing plant and instrumentation testing to proceed during May and early June. The plant should be operational to design capacity approximately six weeks after mine drainage becomes available in June. The budget capacity for water treatment in 2004 is 550,000 cubic metres. Falconbridge will own the nickel recovered and BioteQ will charge a fixed monthly fee as well as a variable treatment fee based on the quantity of water treated. Total capital costs for 2004, projected to the end of June, are estimated at $195,000; this includes minor completion capital, costs associated with de-winterizing the plant, and plant commissioning,
Finally, BioteQ reports that the process plant at Bisbee, Arizona (a joint project with Phelps Dodge) is operating and the first shipment of copper concentrate has been accepted by Phelps Dodge's Miami smelter. April production was approximately 25 tons of concentrate, of which 18.5 tons with a grading of 46% copper has been shipped to the smelter to date. Production during May is projected to surpass that of April as commissioning is accelerated. Copper recovered is shared equally by BioteQ and Phelps Dodge. Commissioning tests have continued through May, with filter press optimization as well as continuing biomass development. The total capital cost to completion of commissioning is estimated at approximately $3 million (U.S.).
More information is available from BioteQ president and CEO Brad Marchant, 604/685-1243, FAX 604/685-7778.