TORONTO, June 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - BacTech Environmental Corporation ("BacTech" or the "Company"), (CSE: BAC, OTC Pink: BCCEF) today announced the Company has shipped approximately 150 kg of arsenopyrite gold concentrate to Laurentian University in Canada. With the supervision of Inspectorate Ecuador (subsidiary of Bureau Veritas S.A.), the concentrates were collected from various flotation plants in Ponce Enriquez, Southern Ecuador. In addition to concentrate, smaller samples of oxidized rock and unprocessed arsenopyritic ore were shipped. The material contains various levels of arsenic and will be subject to a test work programme aimed at demonstrating the economic, environmental and technical viability of using BacTech's Bioleaching Technology as a pre-treatment method for gold extraction. The test work will be conducted and partially funded under the Ontario government's Center of Excellence program.
As reported in a prior press release dated October 17, 2016, BacTech is investigating the use of bioleaching as a substitute for traditional processing methods which includes the current use of mercury in the gold recovery process. As it stands, artisanal miners have created an environmental problem in southern Ecuador, using mercury to obtain gold and silver from refractory ore with poor recoveries. To increase recoveries, tolling plants have installed flotation circuits in the area, and artisanal miners are being paid more for their product by selling ore to the flotation plants, instead of using mercury.
A major issue that has arisen is the creation of very high grade arsenic concentrates which severely diminish the market value due to the arsenic. The Company believes it can capture the discount by implementing BACOX bioleaching technology in the area. Bioleaching can effectively stabilize the arsenic, oxidise the concentrates, and produce gold/silver doré bars.
The test work will take place in Sudbury, Ontario at Laurentian University, under the guidance of BacTech's Dr. Paul Miller and Laurentian's Dr. Nadia Mykyczuk. Results are expected in 6 months from the commencement of the test work.
Should bioleaching prove to be a suitable process for treating high grade arsenopyrite, BacTech will move towards constructing a bioleach facility in Ponce Enriquez. Given the fact flotation plants are already operating in the area, the capital costs should be reduced as the Company would not be obligated to install crushing, grinding and flotation, steps that would normally be associated with a bioleach plant. From BacTech's perspective, buying material that is already concentrated provides easy access to product and reduced equipment size. At present, arsenopyrite concentrates are being shipped to Asia for processing, and buyers pay as little as 45-50% of the metal value of the concentrate.
BacTech Environmental Corporation holds the perpetual, exclusive, royalty-free rights to use the patented BACOX bioleaching technology for the reclamation of tailings and mining waste materials. The Company's principal focus is a high-grade silver/copper/tin tailings project called Telamayu, located in Atocha, Bolivia, in association with COMIBOL, the state mining group. Investigation has begun to identify opportunities in Ecuador where mercury and arsenic issues caused by artisanal mining leads to environmental degradation. The Company continues to field enquiries globally with respect to additional opportunities for remediation, including licensing transactions for the technology.
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Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking information", which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to future tailings sites, sampling or other investigations of tailing sites, the Company's ability to make use of infrastructure around tailings sites or operating performance of the Company and its projects. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or believes" or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release and the Company disclaims, other than as required by law, any obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, results, future events, circumstances, or if management's estimates or opinions should change, or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
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SOURCE BacTech Environmental Corporation