VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/23/13 -- BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. (TSX: BQE), a leader in the treatment of industrial water and process solutions, has provided an update on plant operations and engineering activities for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012.
BioteQ had three active water treatment operations contributing to revenue during the fourth quarter - plants in Arizona, Quebec, and China. Combined, the plants treated 2.2 million cubic meters of water during the quarter, and removed over 288,000 pounds of metals from the environment, bringing total production for the 2012 year to over 10.6 million cubic meters of water and 2.5 million pounds of metal recovered.
The Bisbee, Arizona operation produced approximately 123,000 pounds of copper and treated 253,000 cubic meters of water during the quarter, bringing total production at this facility to 492,000 pounds of copper and 974,000 cubic meters of water treated for the year. This compares with 330,000 pounds of copper and 610,000 cubic metres of water treated in 2011. Revenues for this operation are based on the sale of copper recovered.
The Dexing, China operation produced approximately 165,000 pounds of copper and treated 1.7 million cubic meters of water during the fourth quarter, bringing total production to 2 million pounds of copper and 8.7 million cubic meters of water treated for the year. This compares with 1.7 million pounds of copper and 7.7 million cubic metres of water treated in 2011. The operation was inactive for a portion of Q4 due to routine, annual plant maintenance. Revenues from this operation are based on the sale of copper recovered.
The new Dexing ion exchange plant produced a limited volume of commercial quality cobalt-nickel product in 2012 due to performance issues. BioteQ and JCC have identified the cause of the performance issues, and are making appropriate upgrades to the plant. Management expects that the facility will ramp up to full production in Q2 2013.
The Raglan, Quebec ChemSulphide® concluded its operating season in late November. The plant treated 241,000 cubic meters of water during the fourth quarter. Treatment volumes in 2012 were 864,000 cubic meters, slightly lower than originally forecast, due to lower than expected precipitation levels over the treatment season. This compares with 1.2 million cubic metres treated in 2011. Revenues for this seasonal operation are based on fees for the volume of water treated.
Sales & Engineering Projects
BioteQ's sales team continued to actively pursue new project opportunities in mining markets. The sales pipeline continues to strengthen, as evidenced by a number of new validation contracts that have recently been secured. Key highlights for the quarter included:
-- BioteQ and its Chinese joint venture partner, Jiangxi Copper Company, began design work on a fourth water treatment plant that will be built at the Dexing mine. Construction is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2013. The plant is expected to be commissioned and to enter operation during Q3 2013.-- During Q4, BioteQ secured a contract with a leading international mining company to carry out validation test work for recovery of high value trace metals from smelter effluent at a site in South America, applying BioteQ's ion exchange technology. The work, which includes laboratory testing and evaluation was completed subsequent to year end and will provide the design basis for a commercial plant proposal early in 2013.-- During Q4, BioteQ also secured a testing contract for a project in Latin America. The testing will evaluate the performance of BioteQ's technologies to remove contaminants from copper leach solution. The testing work is expected to be completed during Q1 2013 and the project will then move to the next stage of evaluation by the customer.-- Construction and commissioning of a mobile Sulf-IX plant, built in partnership with Newalta, was undertaken in 2012 and commissioning was completed in January 2013. The demonstration unit will be used to validate the Sulf-IX technology at customer sites, including testing in new market verticals. BioteQ and Newalta are working together to identify suitable sites to deploy this new sulphate removal technology.-- BioteQ extended its contract with Kinross Gold for engineering and process support work relating to a SART project through the end of 2012. Subsequent to year-end, the parties agreed to a further extension to continue these services into 2013.