BacTech Environmental Corporation (CSE: BAC) (OTC: BCCEF) (FSE: 0BT1) a commercially proven environmental technology company delivering eco-friendly bioleaching and remediation solutions for precious metal and critical mineral recovery, is pleased to provide an environmental permitting progress report on its Tenguel, Ecuador bioleaching plant project.
David Tingey, BacTech’s COO based in Guayaquil, reports that the technical observations made in the Company’s ESIA (Environmental and Social Impact Assessment) have been reviewed by the technical regulator and subsequent observations updated by BacTech. The Company’s documentation has been uploaded to the Ministry of the Environment’s electronic platform to obtain the official study approval. This ambitious but realistic timeline has been achieved through close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition technical team throughout the process, in addition to the various teams of Ecuadorian consultants and the detailed design engineering company, who have cooperated closely to develop the EISA.
Currently, the Company is working to socialize the results of the ESIA with the communities in the area of influence and subsequently carry out the final community socialization phase in order to secure its Environmental License and associated permit approvals for the construction of the processing facilities and future bioleaching operations.
“In keeping with our corporate commitments toward communities and sustainability, we’ve worked hard to understand and consider all regional dynamics while building strong and lasting relationships with the people of Tenguel and surrounding communities,” said Ross Orr, President and CEO of BacTech Environmental. “Securing the Ministry’s alignment with our proposed ESIA enables us to move forward with great confidence and work in lockstep to formally socialize the scope and impact of our project plans. Securing our Environmental License is a key component to moving plant construction forward, and we’re pleased to share our progress.”
Beginning with a clear permitting schedule and relevant milestones involving field studies, design evaluations and detailed data gathering on local impacts, BacTech’s ESIA is comprised of local baseline studies where it has been documented to address the physical (abiotic), biotic, social, economic, and cultural considerations to help strategic planning and project implementation. The ESIA contains an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), along sections relating to the corporate Health, Safety and Environment Program (HSE) and an Emergency Response Plan (ERP). Guided by this assessment, the Company plans to develop social, environmental, health and safety procedures that not only satisfy all local regulations, but also incorporate international best practices.
“To date, the guidance and support that the Ecuadorian Government has shown for our Tenguel project has been greatly appreciated. We’ve seen this demonstrated with our Investment Protection Agreement, and throughout the course of our business discussions about green resource development. I can’t say enough about the help we have received to date,” Orr added.
Strategically situated to meet the processing needs of 90+ area government-licensed gold mining producers and processors, the project will be a regional hub for BacTech’s proposed bioleaching processing plant for gold and silver recovery. Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Resources has already issued a permit for plant construction, while Detailed Engineering plans project an initial 20-acre plant footprint that allows for future expansion opportunities without disruption to existing production.
The Ponce Enriquez mining area is characterized by very high grades of refractory arsenopyrite-rich material. BacTech will continue to selectively negotiate for the purchase of additional high gold/arsenic concentrates. The intent is to return local miner compensation back to previous payment levels prior to severe price declines resulting from Chinese government-directed import taxes placed on inbound arsenic gold concentrates. Presently, area miners have no choice but to sell their production at reduced prices to offshore buyers. BacTech intends to eliminate financial penalties charged for arsenic and consequently pay better prices for the miners’ material.
About the Tenguel – Ponce Enriquez Bioleaching Project
BacTech is planning to build a new owner-operated bioleaching facility in Tenguel, Ecuador, in a region where arsenic is associated with gold ore (Arsenopyrite). The Company’s plan is to build a 50 tpd bioleach plant capable of treating high gold/arsenic material. A 50 tpd plant, processing feed of 1.75 ounces of gold per tonne, similar to feeds available to the Company from local miners, would produce approximately 31,000 ounces per year. Plant designs are modular and can be expanded without affecting ongoing production. The total concentrate market in the Ponce Enriquez area is estimated to be between 200 and 250 tonnes per day, allowing for increased throughput potential with a larger plant.
Key economic highlights, assuming a base gold price @ $1,600 per ounce:
In total, there are over 90 small mines operating in the area. BacTech continues to investigate the prospects of establishing additional modern bioleaching facilities across other areas of Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia. Where possible, the Company will partner with national and local governments, non-governmental organizations and others to assist with the funding of these projects and ensure that they meet the Company’s high expectations not only for environmental standards, but also for the highest standards in all ESG considerations.
This press release has been reviewed by Dr. Paul C. Miller Ph.D. Chem. Eng. C.Eng. MIMM., considered to be a qualified expert for reporting purposes.
About BacTech Environmental Corporation
BacTech is a proven environmental technology company, delivering effective and eco-friendly bioleaching and remediation solutions to commercial operations to process and recover preferred metals (gold, silver, cobalt, nickel and copper) smartly and safely remove and transform harmful contaminants like arsenic into benign EPA-approved products for landfill. Tapping into numerous environmental and economic advantages of its proprietary method of bioleaching, BacTech uses naturally occurring bacteria, harmless to both humans and the environment, to neutralize toxic mining sites with high-pay potential.
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