Tag Archives: BQE Water

BQE Water to remove selenium and sulphate from mine water at US mine

BQE Water says it has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with a US-based mining project to provide water treatment services for the simultaneous removal of selenium and sulphate in compliance with environmental regulations.

Under the agreement, BQE Water will provide plant commissioning and operations services for an initial period of four years following completion of the plant performance test. Compensation for operations services consists of a base monthly fee and a supplemental fee for the volume of water treated that meets discharge specifications.

The agreement comes after BQE Water completed process engineering design work in 2020 and 2021 to upgrade the existing water treatment plant at the project site to enable the removal of both selenium and sulphate to below regulated limits, which are among the most stringent globally, it said.

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said: “This project is truly exciting for us. First off, the requirement for the simultaneous removal of selenium and sulphate allows us to push our expertise and leadership in key areas of modern mine water treatment. Secondly, it is gratifying to work with a major metal producer who understands the role of water in today’s resource projects and the value of having specialists operate plants which enables the project owner to focus on their core areas of expertise.”

Detailed engineering for the plant retrofit is nearing completion with the project currently in the construction phase. The plant is expected to complete commissioning in the first half of 2022.

BQE Water achieves several firsts with Zhongkuang SART plant operation

BQE Water says it has advanced the SART plant it designed for a gold metallurgical facility owned by Shandong Zhongkuang Group Co Ltd, in China, to full production.

Located in the Shandong Province in eastern China, the plant is now being operated under the ongoing technical supervision of BQE Water.

Implementing SART (sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening) at the site improves both the environmental performance and project economics of the metallurgical facility, BQE said. Specifically, the SART plant eliminates the need for cyanide destruction, recovers copper and zinc as separate sulphide concentrates, and recycles free cyanide recovered by the plant to gold leaching.

BQE was awarded the SART plant contract back in 2019 following the positive outcome of an engineering feasibility study and on-site testing completed by BQE Water earlier in the year.

The Zhongkuang SART plant also represents many firsts, according to BQE:

  • It is the first application of SART globally where the cyanide competing base metals, copper and zinc, are recovered simultaneously from the leach solution as two separate high-grade concentrates that can be sold to generate incremental revenues;
  • It is the first commercial scale application of SART in China;
  • It is the first SART plant where lime is used to control gas emissions to reduce operating costs and control the build-up of salts in the process water; and
  • It is the first SART plant to be integrated into a complex metallurgical flowsheet that combines mineral flotation with cyanidation and SART in a Zero Liquid Discharge metallurgical facility with complete water recycle.

Songlin Ye, Vice President for Asia at BQE Water, said: “We are very proud of our China-based operations team for this significant achievement and that they were able to do so considering the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Zhongkuang SART plant is our flagship project for the China gold sector and other gold producers in the country are taking notice.”

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, added: “The many firsts associated with the Zhongkuang SART plant demonstrates our leadership in SART technology. And through the unique combination of engineering know-how and operations expertise, the project also shows our ability to reduce risks and achieve predictable outcomes for our clients.”

BQE Water hits Selen-IX milestone at Kemess gold project

BQE Water says it has successfully completed the commissioning and performance test of the first industrial scale plant using its patented Selen-IX™ process for selenium management.

The installation at the Kemess property in northern British Columbia, Canada, owned by Centerra Gold has, since late August 2020, operated continuously. It has treated 65 litres/s (5,600 cu.m/d) of mine-influenced water to produce effluent containing selenium concentrations of less than two parts per billion, BQE Water said.

Fully staffed and operated by BQE Water with support from Centerra Gold mechanical and electrical maintenance personnel, the plant is expected to operate until the end of October and then shut down for the winter season. Plant operations are expected to restart in the Spring of 2021, BQE Water says.

Selen-IX was developed by BQE Water specifically to address the difficult to remove ‘selenate’ form of selenium from mine-influenced waters employing a physico-chemical, instead of biological, method of treatment.

As the Kemess mine plant enters the operations phase, Selen-IX becomes the first commercially available non-biological treatment process to be applied on a large industrial scale capable of removing selenate to levels below two parts per billion, BQE Water said. This is achieved without the risk of inadvertent organo-selenium production that is associated with biological systems. Additionally, the solid residue produced by Selen-IX is stable and is suitable for blending with tailings.

“This plant provides confirmation that a proven non-biological treatment approach for selenate is now available, something that has been lacking since selenium regulations were first introduced,” the company said.

Ron Hampton, Project Director for the Kemess project at Centerra Gold, said: “We are pleased that the water treatment plant met the conditions of the performance test, which is a major milestone for our project. The ability to effectively control selenium is key to the future operation of the Kemess underground project.”

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, added: “Centerra Gold’s exemplary commitment to a clean environment enabled us to first pilot and then implement Selen-IX on the basis of delivering a selenium management solution with superior outcomes compared to treatment systems used at other mines. I am extremely proud that we delivered on that promise.”

Centerra Gold is looking to re-establish the former operating Kemess site into an underground mine and processing facility, able to operate over a 12-year mine life, according to a 2016 feasibility study.

Kinross Gold weighs SART plant and rope conveyors for Lobo-Marte development

Kinross Gold has announced the results of a prefeasibility study for its Lobo-Marte project in Chile, which includes consideration of sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) technology, as well as the use of rope conveyors.

The open-pit, heap leach operation would produce around 4.5 Moz of gold at average all-in sustaining cost of sales of $745/oz, according to the study. It would operate for 15 years, which includes 12 years of mining followed by three years of residual processing.

The initial estimated capital cost for the project is $765 million, plus around $230 million in contingency, Kinross said. The estimated capital costs includes mine equipment, crushing and storage facilities, conveyors, and site utilities and infrastructure.

The most interesting processing aspect is the use of a SART plant in the mine’s design. Kinross has previously used SART technology successfully in the region at its former-operating Maricunga mine, which BioteQ Environmental Technologies (now named BQE Water) installed.

The company also plans to use rope conveyors, such as those provided by Doppelmayr at the likes of Torex Gold’s ELG mine in Mexico.

Subject to a positive development decision, the study estimates Lobo-Marte project construction beginning in 2025, with first production expected in 2027. Production would commence after the conclusion of mining at the company’s La Coipa project (pictured), which is located some 50 km northwest of Lobo-Marte, and where the company is continuing to explore opportunities to extend mine life.

Back in February, Kinross announced it is proceeding with the La Coipa Restart project to mine the Phase 7 deposit. The La Coipa restart is expected to generate strong returns and produce a total of around 690,000 oz of gold from 2022 to 2024. The project plan includes refurbishing the existing process plant, camp and other infrastructure, as well as the mine fleet from the Maricunga operation that has recently been placed on care and maintenance.

The company plans to commence a feasibility study on Lobo-Marte later this year, with scheduled completion in the December quarter of 2021. The feasibility study is expected to provide the detailed engineering and project description required for permitting and submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment, Kinross said.

“The Lobo-Marte project provides Kinross with an excellent, organic development option that has attractive all-in sustaining costs and offers substantial upside leverage to the gold price, without increasing project cost requirements and risk,” Paul Rollinson, Kinross President and CEO, said. “The project represents a potential synergistic, long-term mine life extension in a favourable mining jurisdiction and delivers a significant 6.4 Moz addition to our current gold reserve estimates, increasing the company’s overall reserve mine life.

“As we move forward with the feasibility study for this longer-term project, we will continue to prioritise balance sheet strength and disciplined capital allocation.”

BQE Water to manage and treat water at El Mirador copper-gold mine

BQE Water has signed two agreements with EcuaCorriente SA (ECSA), an Ecuador subsidiary of a Chinese consortium, to prepare an adaptive mine water management plan and to improve the design of an existing water treatment plant for the El Mirador mine the consortium owns and operates in south-eastern Ecuador.

The first contract is for an assessment of the water treatment plant and a water management plan that is adaptive over the life of the mine based on water flow and quality that will be monitored as part of the plan.

Added to this is a second contract to provide technical support for implementing immediate improvements in the engineering design and operation of the existing water treatment facility to increase its robustness and reduce both project risks and long-term operating costs, BQE said.

Qiaofeng Xu, the Project Director for ECSA, said: “We selected BQE Water for their unique technical expertise, their successful track record in the design and operation of large water treatment plants for major Chinese mining producers, and for their ability to support project execution utilising personnel from their South American, China and Canadian offices.”

Songlin Ye, Vice President for Asia at BQE Water, said: “Our ability to do business with large Chinese metal producers and the success of our water treatment operations in China were instrumental in securing these new contracts. The El Mirador project is significant for BQE Water as it showcases our unique strength to be a trusted water services provider for mining projects with Chinese interests at a time when Chinese investment in global mining projects can be expected to grow.”

Oscar Lopez, General Manager for Latin America at BQE Water, said the El Mirador project represents the first large mining project where the company will be the technical lead for the overall site water management plan rather than focus only on water treatment.

“And, with the long time horizon for water treatment at El Mirador, the current contracts may provide an opportunity for further cooperation between our two companies to support EcuaCorriente to reduce life cycle costs and conduct mining operations in an environmentally friendly manner at El Mirador,” Lopez said.

The El Mirador mine, owned by a consortium consisting of China Railway Construction Corporation and Tonglin Nonferrous Metals Group, is a large copper-gold porphyry project that was brought into production in 2019. It is expected to produce an average over 200 MIb (90,718 t) of copper and 60,000 oz of gold annually for the next 30 years.

The project site is located in a net positive water balance environment and will require ECSA to treat and discharge mine water into the environment throughout the project life, BQE said. “As production ramps-up and the mine footprint increases, both the volume of water requiring treatment and the water composition will change.”

SART plant up and running at GoGold’s Parral tailings facility

GoGold Resources says the SART plant has been successfully installed and commissioned at its Parral tailings facility in Chihuahua, Mexico.

The SART (sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening) plant is providing important economic and technical benefits to the Parral facility, according to the TSX-listed company. This includes the recovery of a high-grade saleable copper sulphide product, the re-generation of cyanide, which is the largest single operating cost at Parral, and an improvement in the leaching efficiency of the heap.

The company announced back in June 2019 that it had retained BQE Water to design, construct and commission the plant at Parral. This contract followed on-site testing and preliminary assessment of SART integration into the metallurgical process at Parral that BQE completed earlier in the year.

Brad Langille, President and CEO of GoGold, said: “Our team at Parral has successfully adapted agglomerated heap leaching to old mined waste at Parral, and the SART is a further optimisation of this innovation.

“The operation produces low cost gold and silver ounces while providing environmental remediation for the town of Parral. We see this expertise which we’ve developed over the last six years of operation as a real asset to the company that may be applicable to the millions of tonnes of mined waste in Mexico and beyond.”

The commissioning phase began in late January, and steady production was reached in early March, GoGold said. The plant is currently operating as intended, producing copper sulphide precipitate and re-generating cyanide. Its introduction has reduced the need for purchased cyanide by more than 20%, or around $200,000 ($140,378) in the month of March, according to the company, with the revenue attributed to the copper sulphide precipitate offsetting the costs of operation of the SART plant.

BQE Water to install Selen-IX water treatment plant at US mine

BQE Water says it has entered into an engineering services agreement with Black & Veatch, an international engineering firm, for the design of a Selen-IX™ water treatment plant destined for a mine in the US.

The plant, at a scale larger than the currently constructed 6,400 m3/d Selen-IX treatment plant at Centerra Gold’s Kemess mine site in British Columbia, Canada, will remove selenium below three parts per billion limit at the end-of-pipe, the company said.

The plant will be designed to treat several thousand litres per minute of water on average and to adjust quickly to adapt to the changes in feed flow, according to BQE.

Jim Spenceley, VP Mining for Black & Veatch, said: “We recognise the value of BQE Water’s expertise in water treatment and the uniqueness of Selen-IX, which moves selenium control in the mining industry to a new level and enables important resource projects to be developed.

“The technological leadership of BQE Water, combined with Black & Veatch’s successful track record in delivering mission critical capital projects, matches perfectly the project requirements and we are excited to initiate the work jointly with BQE Water.”

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said the ability of Selen-IX to remove selenium to levels below three parts per billion, coupled with the ability to quickly adapt to treatment requirements by fast turn-up and turn-down in terms of throughput, was key to signing this agreement.

“It also provides a platform for BQE Water and Black & Veatch to demonstrate to the mining industry our joint capabilities of delivering innovative water treatment solutions safely and cost effectively,” he added.

BQE Water successfully completed lab testing in 2019 that demonstrated the capability of Selen-IX to achieve the required water quality. The design of the water treatment plant is expected to be completed in the September quarter.

Selen-IX is a water treatment process technology that combines ion exchange and electro-reduction to remove selenium from large volumes of wastewater. As a purely physico-chemical process, it is insensitive to water temperature and is highly adaptable to variability in water flows and selenium levels, according to BQE Water. “The process fixes selenium into stable refractory non-hazardous solids suitable for co-disposal with tailings and potential offtake by steel producers,” the company said.

BQE Water receives second SART plant gig in China

BQE Water has been awarded its second SART plant contract in China, with Zhaojin Mining Industry Co signing up the mine wastewater and metallurgical bleed streams specialist to construct and operate the facility at a gold metallurgical operation, in Shandong Province.

The contract structure for Zhaojin, a state-owned company that is one of the largest gold smelters in China, is similar to the sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) contract signed earlier this year with Shandong Zhongkuang Group Co, BQE said.

It consists of two project phases, with the first phase including initial engineering design, procurement, construction and plant commissioning. This will be followed by a second phase for onsite operations support services for an initial period of five years with BQE Water being paid a quarterly service fee based on plant performance.

BQE’s SART process enables cyanide consumed by base metals to be recovered and recycled, lowering the cost of gold extraction and reducing the environmental footprint of gold mining projects, the company says.

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said: “The two back-to-back multimillion dollar SART contracts with recurring revenues from ongoing plant operations will allow us to expand our China office and develop a comprehensive platform for delivering our expertise in one of the most active metals extraction, smelting and refining markets globally.

“We are also appreciative of research and development funding and advisory services from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP).”

Songlin Ye, Vice President for Asia at BQE Water, added: “Our partnership with MWT Water Treatment Project Limited Co has allowed us to establish a commercial framework built on our combined core-competencies. Together these capabilities are highly suitable to the mining market conditions and requirements in China and will support BQE Water in the acquisition of additional contracts from the deployment of our know-how.”

GoGold signs up BQE Water for SART plant at Parral tailings operation

BQE Water says it has been retained by GoGold Resources for the implementation of a sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) plant at the Parral operation in Chihuahua, Mexico.

The contract comes after on-site testing and preliminary assessment of SART integration into the metallurgical process at Parral that were completed earlier by BQE Water.

Under the contract, BQE Water’s scope of work will include plant engineering design, process automation, engineering support during procurement and construction, plant commissioning, and ongoing operations support after plant start-up. The plant construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Once the plant is commissioned, BQE Water will provide operations support services for a monthly fee for a period of three years, it said.

Owned and operated by GoGold Resources, the Parral project involves the reprocessing of old tailings to recover silver and gold by conventional cyanidation. In addition to the precious metals, the tailings also contain significant quantities of cyanide soluble copper and zinc. These base metals compete for cyanide, causing high cyanide consumption and increasing operating costs, according to BQE.

Anis Nehme, COO of GoGold Resources, said: “We have been working with BQE Water for the past few years to evaluate SART integration into the Parral project and we are relying on their expertise to help us maximise the positive contribution SART can bring to the project’s overall performance.”

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said: “This contract is further proof of our leadership in the safe, cost-effective and rapid deployment of SART to help precious metals producers improve the metallurgical and environmental performance of their projects.

“We stand behind our proven process designs perfected over multiple large projects completed in the past decade and in our operations support capabilities to ensure SART benefits are maximised while operational risks are minimised.”

The SART process recovers copper from cyanide leach solution while allowing free cyanide to be recycled back to the leaching of precious metals. This lowers the cost of gold extraction and reduces the environmental footprint of gold mining projects, BQE says.

“SART can be a game changer that favourably shifts project economics and enables projects to move forward,” BQE said, adding that fewer than 10 industrial scale SART plants have been built and operated globally.

BQE Water sorts SART plant for China’s Shandong Zhongkuang Group

BQE Water says it has been awarded its first contract to deliver a sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) plant in China.

The contract, at a gold metallurgical facility owned and operated by Shandong Zhongkuang Group Co in eastern China, was awarded following the positive outcome of the engineering feasibility study and on-site testing completed by BQE Water earlier in the year, the company said.

The contract consists of two project phases. In the first phase, BQE Water will provide all aspects of the plant design, engineering support during procurement and construction, and plant commissioning, it said. This initial phase is to be completed within the next 12 months.

In the second phase, BQE Water will provide ongoing operations support services for a period of five years and will be paid a quarterly service fee based on plant performance.

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said: “We are very excited about this project which enables BQE Water to demonstrate our leadership in SART technology in China and to execute the project using a business model that generates recurring revenues from technological know-how and services without the need for capital investment.

“I would also like to acknowledge the positive role that funding and advisory services from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) has played in allowing us to accelerate research in clean Canadian technologies such as SART in China.”

Songlin Ye, Vice President for Asia at BQE Water, said: “The success of our operations at the Guoda gold smelter some 20 km away from the Zhongkuang site and our partnership with MWT Water Treatment Project Limited Co, were both instrumental in establishing the commercial framework for this project.

“SART implementation is the first step in the bigger picture of modernising cyanide management and waste treatment at the Zhongkuang metallurgical processing facility. The success of SART may open new opportunities to help us develop a long-term relationship with Zhongkuang.”

BQE Water calls itself a global leader in the SART process which enables cyanide consumed by base metals to be recovered and recycled, lowering the cost of gold extraction and reducing the environmental footprint of gold mining projects. The company also provides solutions to manage the by-products of cyanidation and cyanide destruction such as ammonia, nitrite and thiocyanate removal.