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:: BacTech Awarded OCE Grant in Support of Arsenic Research
BacTech Environmental Corporation is pleased to announce that their joint application with Laurentian University to Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) has been approved for $75,000 through OCE's Voucher for Innovation and Productivity II ("VIP II"), offered on behalf of the Province of Ontario. These funds are to be leveraged against contributions from BacTech Environmental Corporation in the amounts of $37,500 cash and $37,500 in-kind.
All OCE program funding is discretionary and awarded based on a highly competitive process that attracts many applications. Eligible applications are reviewed on their merit and assessed against OCE objectives and assessment criteria. Given the limited funding available, only projects that attain the highest recommendations and demonstrate the greatest likelihood of meeting program objectives are awarded funding.
“We are pleased to be part of a unique collaboration that we hope will lead to great advances in dealing with arsenic issues in mining. Given the amount of arsenic that is released globally through mining, both primary and artisanal, any advancements in this area should be welcomed”, said Ross Orr, President and CEO of BacTech.
The purpose of the funding is to test bioleaching against very high arsenic concentrates (+10%) that are becoming more prevalent, not only in Canada, but also in numerous South American countries. BacTech is interested in applying bioleaching as a process technology to treat high grade gold/arsenic concentrates being produced in Ponce Enriquez, Ecuador. Presently, these concentrates are being sold overseas and include penalties for high levels of arsenic. BacTech proposes a “made at home” solution whereby concentrates produced in Ponce Enrique will be processed locally using BacTech BACOX technology. It is hoped that the introduction of a bioleach circuit would lead to lower levels of mercury use, as well as reduced discharges of arsenic into the local environment.
A 300-kg sample of arsenopyrite concentrate will be purchased shortly from the local flotation plants in Ponce Enriquez. This material will then be shipped to Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada for 5-6 months of bioleach test work. The results of the test work will form the basis of the plant design for the proposed bioleach plant. Laurentian University partner, Dr. Nadia Mykytczuk, is thrilled to have the funding to advance the use of genomic tools and selective microbial culturing to help optimize the BACOX process. The cultures, which are isolated from various mine sites, including Sudbury, Ontario, are going to be used in the trials.
“We are very pleased to be able to support this impressive company,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence. “This is a technological approach with the potential for widespread application and the ability to solve a serious problem.”
This OCE funded project will not only help advance the Ecuador work, but will also help advance the technology and potential application for re-processing various mine wastes in Ontario and elsewhere.
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