BQE Water has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with Minto Metals Corp to provide plant operations services for an existing water treatment plant at Minto Mine, some 240 km northwest of Whitehorse, Yukon, through to 2024.
Under the agreement, BQE Water will be responsible for clean water production at the Canadian mine where the final effluent must meet stringent requirements not only for metals but ammonia, nitrite and nitrate to protect the aquatic life in the receiving environment. Included in the operations services provided by BQE Water will be on-site technical supervision, coordination with Minto’s environmental and metallurgical team to maximise the volume of water discharged into the environment, operator training, and on-site and off-site engineering support.
BQE Water’s compensation will be composed of a base monthly fee and a supplemental fee for the volume of water treated that meets discharge specifications. It is estimated the plant will treat and discharge 400,000 cu.m of mine water for the remainder of the year and approximately 750,000-1,000,000 cu.m of mine water in each subsequent year of the current contract.
“We are highly appreciative of the responsiveness and technical proficiency provided by BQE Water to address the concerns we had with our water treatment plant,” Loralee Johnstone, the VP of Environment and Social Governance for the mine, said. “The transition to their operations has been systematic and transparent, with the resulting operational work surpassing our expectations.”
David Kratochvil, BQE Water’s President & CEO added: “We value the opportunity to help Minto achieve its environmental and social governance goals. We also look forward to collaborating with the Selkirk First Nation to achieve sustainable and transparent water management at the mine.”
As part of its role at Minto, BQE Water has engaged in discussions with the mine and the Selkirk First Nation about creating an active role for the local community to participate in clean water production at the site to ensure the continued protection of land and water for countless generations in the future.
The Minto mine has been in operation since 2007 with underground mining commencing in 2014. The current mine operations are based on underground mining, a process plant to produce high-grade copper, gold and silver concentrate and all supporting infrastructure associated with a remote location in Yukon.