BacTech Reports on Arsenic Stabilization for Ecuador Gold Concentrate Treatment
Toronto, Canada, July 10, 2018 – BacTech Environmental Corporation (“BacTech or the Company”),(CSE:BAC, OTC:BCCEF) today gave an update of results of an on-going bioleach study being conducted at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada from which design information is being obtained to build a bioleach plant for refractory gold concentrate processing in Ecuador. The study was based on materials collected by a third party in late 2017 from the Ponce Enriques (“PE”) area of southern Ecuador. Ponce Enriques is a well-known mining district in Ecuador that produces significant amounts of arsenopyrite concentrates from small and/or artisanal miners.
The collected material was sourced from small mining operations in PE and included concentrate, whole mineralized material and tailings. The material was bagged and shipped to Dr. Nadia Mykytczuk at Laurentian University in Sudbury. Dr. Mykytczuk is a noted biomining professor at the University and has worked closely with BacTech for several years. A bioleach program was developed by BacTech’s Dr. Paul Miller with the test work being managed, guided and co-ordinated by Dr. Mykytczuk and her team at Laurentian. In addition, the project was awarded a grant of $150,000 from the Ontario government’s Ontario Center of Excellence.
BacTech is pleased to announce that all of the materials tested to-date have responded well to the bio-oxidation testing procedure indicating a high amenability to bioleach processing demonstrating that high oxidation levels are achievable. Importantly, samples of neutralised arsenic precipitate containing stabilised arsenic, have been subjected to Toxicity Characteristic Leach Procedure (TCLP) testing showing that these precipitates are environmentally stable and benign meeting US EPA or equivalent regulatory requirements for disposal. This TCLP test work was conducted by TESTMARK Laboratories Ltd., an independent organization. Ross Orr stated, “This is an important milestone in the on-going bioleach test work programme in that it demonstrates the environmental responsibility of the process as a technically advanced method for treating arsenical gold materials in Ecuador. “
A second round of test work will begin immediately at Laurentian optimising the pulp density of concentrates in the bioleaching process and for optimisation of conditions for downstream gold recovery. The results will be used to develop a project, based in PE, for the bioleaching of arsenic tailings that have reached a critical mass and need to be relocated for safety reasons. In addition, BacTech hopes to be able to source original arsenopyrite concentrates from local miners that would normally attract high treatment penalties due to the arsenic content. Currently these concentrates are sold into Asia for processing at a significant discount to the concentrate value. The results will be presented to the government of Ecuador by Ross Orr in the next 7 days.
The Telamayu project involves the environmental remediation of the “Antiguo” tailings and a Company option on the larger “Nuevo” tailings, both situated at the Telamayu mill site near the town of Atocha in the Department of Potosi in Bolivia. As part of the remediation process BacTech will recover silver, tin, and copper utilizing a conventional processing technology. The existing Telamayu mill concentrator has generated the Antiguo and Nuevo tailings by processing mineralized material from the surrounding mines for over 80 years. There is considerable infrastructure at the mill site including high voltage power, rail, mill housing, and a local workforce. The current infrastructure will contribute to a reduction in capital costs of the project. Currently metallurgical test work is underway to determine the percentage of metal to be recoverable.