BacTech Environmental, GMR and Dundee Sustainable Technologies are joining together to develop a potential solution for the remediation of the gold residual stockpile in Snow Lake, Manitoba.
As part of this effort, BacTech has signed a letter of intent with GMR to license its proprietary bioleach technology.
Through this agreement, BacTech received a C$20,000 ($14,689) cash payment as an advance on the right to use the bioleach technology on the project. In addition, BacTech will earn 3% undivided equity interest in the net income of the project.
This proprietary bacterial oxidation technology liberates precious and base metals from difficult-to-treat sulphide ores and concentrates, according to BacTech. This is a safe and environmentally-friendly process that has the advantage of improving metal recovery at significantly lower capital and operating costs when compared with traditional treatment methods of smelting, roasting and pressure oxidation, the company said.
BacTech said: “GMR is relying on BacTech’s historical research conducted in 2011-12 that showed oxidation rates of 95% and gold recovery of 88.6% on material obtained from the arsenic stock pile.”
It added: “Due to a lack of iron in the stockpile the residual material could not be stabilised and was abandoned.”
Ross Orr, CEO of BacTech, said: “Our return to Snow Lake is predicated on Dundee Sustainable Technologies providing a solution to the unstable arsenic product we generated in our earlier work that killed the project. The stockpile has a deficiency in iron leading to an unstable ferric arsenate product after bioleaching. By passing this unstable material to be vitrified, the arsenic can be safely disposed. We look forward to re-engaging in the Snow Lake project.”
David LeClaire, the CEO of GMR, said: “BacTech’s historic work on the project and its proprietary bioleach technology, teamed with DST’s vitrification technology, is a promising solution to the remediation of a longstanding environmental concern of the community of Snow Lake without cost to the taxpayer.”
The project consists of a stockpile of arsenopyrite concentrate proven to contain residual gold and silver. BacTech drilled and assayed the stockpile, which is currently the responsibility of the Government of Manitoba, in 2011 and produced a NI 43-101 report.
Current measured mineral resource estimates were generated in 2012 by BacTech estimating the Snow Lake concentrate stockpile contains 264,596 t grading 9.76 g/t Au and 2.17 g/t Ag. In addition, indicated resource estimates include 9,300 t grading 9.2 g/t Au and 2.15 g/t Ag, and an inferred mineral resource came in at 28,000 t at 7 g/t Au and 2.4 g/t Ag.