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:: BioteQ Signs Definitive Agreement for Plant in Mexico
BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. is pleased to report that it has completed a definitive agreement for the construction and operation of a copper recovery and water treatment plant with Columbia Metals Corporation Limited. The new plant will be constructed at Columbia's Lluvia de Oro Gold Property located in the State of Sonora, Mexico, near the La Jojoba Project which was previously announced.
The water treatment technology for the Lluvia de Oro project is a new application of BioteQ's sulphide technologies where BioteQ will provide a plant to Columbia for the regeneration of free and copper-complexed cyanide from barren solutions, which can then be recycled for gold extraction. In addition, the technology converts copper cyanide complexes to copper sulphide which is then recovered as an incremental revenue source.
The agreement provides for a commercial structure whereby BioteQ will build, own and operate the treatment plant in return for metals recovered and fees charged for cyanide regeneration.
Columbia's Lluvia de Oro Gold Property is located in northern Mexico, approximately 2.5 hours drive from Tuscon, Arizona. The property previously operated as a gold heap leach. The existing infrastructure consists of a heap leach pad, which currently contains unleached gold from previous operations, a well developed gold resource, a complete solution refining plant and ancillary storage ponds, power, maintenance facilities, warehousing, and offices at the site.
The gold deposit contains cyanide-soluble copper minerals, which consume cyanide during the gold extraction process, and can build up in the metallurgical process solutions which can hinder maximum gold extraction. BioteQ's sulphide technology can be used for cyanide regeneration for recovery of free cyanide and copper-complexed cyanide from the barren solution, following gold recovery from solution. Regeneration of the cyanide also allows the recovery of copper as a sulphide product that can be shipped to a refinery for final processing to copper products.
Laboratory testing on bulk samples and drill core samples is in progress. Results to date indicate that approximately 45% of the copper in the gold ore is cyanide soluble which will produce between 500,000 and 1,000,000 pounds per year of copper in the barren solution. Copper recovery from the barren solution is expected to be >99% in the BioteQ process. In addition, cyanide is regenerated at a rate of approximately 700,000 to 1,400,000 pounds per year of NaCN equivalent.
It is expected that gold processing by Colmubia will begin at Lluvia de Oro by mid-2007 and it is anticipated that the BioteQ plant will be operational by the end of 2007. In addition, development work by Columbia and BioteQ on the La Jojoba project, as previously announced, which is located approximately 4 kilometers from the Lluvia de Oro project, is continuing and it is likely that the processing plant located at Lluvia de Oro can service both properties for copper recovery and cyanide regeneration.
The new technology offered by BioteQ is an important development for future gold mining operations. The technology is an improvement on the SART process developed by SGS Lakefield Research and Teck Corporation, and is used by permission on a license-free basis. Many of the known large gold deposits in the world are complexed with copper, and some occur as copper-gold porphyry deposits. The new technology offers a cost effective route to recover the gold using a conventional cyanide system and at the same time recover cyanide-soluble copper that ordinarily would pose a technical, environmental and economic impediment to the development of some of these large copper-gold systems.
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