January 9, 2023 (Investorideas.com Newswire) ‘We don’t mine anything,’ says tech company that uses bioleaching to recover precious metals from recovered mine waste.
BacTech Environmental Corp. (BAC:CSE;BCCEF:OTCQB;OBT1:FRA) is hoping to start construction soon on its bioleaching plant in Tenguel, Ecuador.
It has received its construction permit and approval from the government for its environmental impact study on the site but is working through the community consultation phase before the government issues the final environmental permit for the mine.
The problem is, it’s not a mine. Using naturally occurring bacteria, bioleaching makes it possible to get precious metals from already recovered lower-grade ore.
President and Chief Executive Officer Ross Orr said BacTech had asked the government to drop the mine designation, which could let construction start even earlier than expected.
“We don’t mine anything,” Orr said. “In fact, we fill in holes as opposed to digging them.”
Longtime investor in the company Chris Temple, editor of The National Investor, said BacTech “should be on your radar.”
“2023 appears to be a breakout year potentially for BacTech,” Temple wrote in December. “Discussions/negotiations are ongoing with several potential project financing partners. If something comes to fruition sooner rather than later, we could see construction commence within not many months’ time. And then it should be off to the races.”
The Catalyst: Green Mining Sector Growing
BacTech is building the plant to take advantage of the growing green mining space, a sector research company Markets and Markets said is expected to grow from an estimated US$9 billion in 2019 to US$12.9 billion by 2024.
Pressures from government and environmental groups are forcing companies to raise their capital and operating expenditures.
“As the countries tighten the environmental regulations and the public concern about the mining industry grows, this increases the pressure on these mining companies to minimize their environmental impacts and pay a higher amount to the occurring local issues,” Markets and Markets wrote.
As part of the community consultation phase, BacTech is taking part in presentations and town halls and replying to questions from locals.
Temple and Orr both said they believe the project will be popular with residents and the government.
“An Ecuadorian government wanting (a) solid, long-term business that both employs its citizens (and at some of the highest wages in the country in this case) … and cleans up the environment sees this as a no-brainer,” Temple wrote.
Bacteria drive the process by chewing and oxidizing the sulfides in the rock like mortar in a brick wall. Once that mortar is gone, the wall crashes down. “Our bugs eat rocks,” as BacTech’s website says.
Bioleaching was attempted commercially in South Africa in 1986. There have been more than 20 plants built globally since then.
The site’s construction permit was approved in March, and BacTech signed an Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) with the government in May, giving it a 12-year income tax holiday and international arbitration for disputes.
As of the end of October, about 62% of the equipment for the plant had been procured, the company said.
The plant will have a small footprint, as much of the 100 acres of land bought for it will continue to be used by local farmers. BacTech has agreed to let them keep harvesting 80% of the farm’s thousands of cocoa trees.
For the feed going into the plant, there are 90 small mines in the area that produce significant amounts of arsenic with gold in the area. The plant would process about 30,900 ounces gold (Au) per year. There is potential for expansion; the total availability of materials in the area is an estimated 250 tonnes per day.
The plant would have pre-tax earnings of about US$10.9 million and a two-year payback period, according to data from EPCM Consultores.
Ownership and Share Structure
BacTech recently started trading on the OTCQB Venture Market in the United States under the ticker symbol BCCEF. It continues to be traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange under BAC.
Nearly half of the company, 49%, is held by insiders, management, and strategic shareholders, the biggest of which is Option Three Advisory Services Ltd., which owns 8.98%, or 15.57 million shares, according to Reuters. That also includes CEO Orr, who owns 3.78% or 6.54 million shares, and Board Director Timothy Lewin, who owns 0.57% or 0.98 million shares.
Currently, BacTech is covered by newsletter writers Clive Maund of clivemaund.com, Bob Moriarty of 321gold.com, and Chris Temple of The National Investor. Click “See More Live Data” in the data box below to see what they are saying.
The company has 173.4 million shares outstanding, including 149 million free floating. Its market cap is CA$11.32 million, and it trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.16 and CA$0.055.
1) Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC. He or members of his household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. He or members of his household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
2) The following companies mentioned in this article are billboard sponsors of Streetwise Reports: BacTech Environmental Corp. Click here for important disclosures about sponsor fees. The information provided above is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. As of the date of this article, an affiliate of Streetwise Reports has a consulting relationship with BacTech Environmental Corp. Please click here for more information.
4) From time to time, Streetwise Reports LLC and its directors, officers, employees or members of their families, as well as persons interviewed for articles and interviews on the site, may have a long or short position in securities mentioned. Directors, officers, employees or members of their immediate families are prohibited from making purchases and/or sales of those securities in the open market or otherwise from the time of the decision to publish an article until three business days after the publication of the article. The foregoing prohibition does not apply to articles that in substance only restate previously published company releases. As of the date of this article, officers and/or employees of Streetwise Reports LLC (including members of their household) own securities of BacTech Environmental Corp., a company mentioned in this article.
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