VANCOUVER – BIOTEQ ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES has signed a joint venture agreement with JIANGXI COPPER CORP. for the operation of a water treatment plant at the Chinese company’s Dexing mine in Jiangxi Province. This is the first installation of BioteQ’s water treatment technology in China.
The Dexing copper mine currently produces 120,000 tonnes of copper concentrate per year from flotation concentrate and also operates a heap leach using SX/EW to produce copper cathode from low grade stockpiles. Daily production at the mine is 100,000 tonnes of ore and the current resource is sufficient for 50 years of operation at current production rates. Mine drainage from waste dumps and low grade stockpiles is acidic and contains copper.
The initial project for the joint venture company is to build a BioteQ facility at the Dexing mine site, incorporating BioteQ’s ChemSulphide process for the selective recovery of copper from acid water from several sources at the site. The minimum capacity of the plant will be 1.1 million lb per year of copper and a maximum capacity of 4.5 million lb per year if all of the acidic water is treated. The joint venture plans to increase the plant capacity in stages.
The capital cost has been estimated at approximately US$3.5 million with an estimated total annual operating cost of US$2.4 million, for the maximum capacity plant, or US$0.53/lb of copper in direct operating expenses. The high grade copper product would be refined at the Jiangxi Copper refinery at commercially competitive rates. Refining charges have not been included in the total annual operating cost estimate as these vary with the prevailing market terms. Engineering for construction is in progress and the plant is expected to be operational in 2007.
Learn more about the BioteQ ChemSulphide process at www.BioteQ.ca.