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MEI Online: Hydrometallurgy: Latest News: October 10th 2006


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:: BioteQ Signs Development Agreement for Project with Codelco Chile

BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. is pleased to report that it has signed a confidentiality and technology development agreement with the Institute for Innovation in Mining and Metallurgy, a subsidiary of Codelco Chile, for the development of water treatment and metal recovery technologies for application at the Andina Division of Codelco. The companies have agreed to evaluate BioteQ’s technology, commencing with laboratory testwork, to determine if industrial application at Andina is feasible. The metal recovery technology to be evaluated is the same as currently applied commercially at the Copreco plant in Bisbee, Arizona and could be used at Andina to recover copper from both heap leach solutions and acid mine drainage. In addition, water treatment technology to reduce concentrations of sulphate discharged to the environment, according to Chilean environmental regulations, will be evaluated using ion-exchange technology, which could be a new application of BioteQ’s expertise.

The Andina copper mine, located near Santiago, Chile, currently produces approximately 250,000 tonnes of copper concentrate per year and also recovers copper from low grade stockpiles using leaching followed by SX-EW. Preliminary estimates completed by BioteQ indicate profitable operation for treatment of more than 8,000 cubic meters of acid rock drainage per day containing approximately 5,000 to 10,000 tonnes (11 to 22 million pounds) per year of copper. Bench scale testwork is planned to confirm the technical and economic viability of applying BioteQ’s technology for copper recovery, similar to that in operation at the Bisbee plant in Arizona. If the companies agree that the testwork is successful, then larger scale piloting or process demonstration and an engineering feasibility study would be carried out.

Testwork is also planned for the companies to evaluate jointly an ion-exchange technology to reduce the concentration of sulphate in effluents discharged to the environment. Under Chilean environmental regulations, mine effluents discharged to the environment must contain less than 1000 mg/L sulphate. As noted above for the copper recovery application, if the companies agree that the initial testwork is successful and warrants further development then piloting or larger scale process demonstration and an engineering feasibility study would follow.




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