TORONTO, CANADA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/17/12 -- BacTech Environmental Corporation ('BacTech' or the 'Company'), (CNSX: BAC)(WKN: A1H4TY) announces that it has obtained approval from Corporacion Minera de Bolivia, the state-owned mining company for Bolivia ('COMIBOL') and has begun sampling tailings from the Telamayu mill site in Bolivia.
At this stage there is no agreement in place between BacTech and COMIBOL but if the sampling results prove positive BacTech will endeavour to create a Joint Venture with COMIBOL or with a company familiar with doing business in Bolivia to reprocess the tails at Telamayu.
A total of approximately 200 kg of material will be collected and shipped to Lima, Peru where it will undergo a) sample characterization, b) assaying, c) size analysis, d) mineralogy, and e) concentration by flotation. The final flotation concentrates will be shipped to Inspectorate Labs in Vancouver, Canada for bioleach test work. The assay results will be released upon receipt prior to the commencement of the bioleach test work. The sampling program is being supervised by SGS Laboratories.
COMIBOL has identified 26 different historic mining liability sites that need to be addressed for various environmental reasons. Of the 26 sites only one has had a systematic sampling program to date, that being Telamayu in the Department of Potosi. Representatives of BacTech visited Telamayu in February to investigate the tailings and the possibility of using bioleaching as a means to clean up the historic tailings.
Telamayu is a former mill town near the town of Atocha. The Telamayu Mill processed ore from two mines, Animas and Seven Suyos, that are each situated approximately 8km from the mill and flotation plant. The mined minerals included copper, zinc, silver, tin and lead. The mill contained two separate flotation circuits that produced a lead/zinc concentrate and a zinc/silver concentrate which were shipped to smelters for metal recovery. Both concentrates were also passed over shaker tables for course tin recovery. Of concern to COMIBOL is the mineralogy of the tailings containing arsenic (As), sulphides and other deleterious metals. Combined with oxidizing sulphides that create sulphuric acid, the potential for heavy metal contamination is very high. There is ample evidence on the surface of the stockpile of soluble copper in acidic water as well as visible sulphide mineralization.
There are two separate tailings stockpiles at Telamayu that sit on either side of the Allita River. The stockpile next to the mill underwent an extensive sampling program in 2005. This sampling program, conducted by COMIBOL, included five 2-meter by 2-meter wells that were hand dug from surface to depths ranging from 8 to 10 meters. COMIBOL has reported the following average assay results from the 5 holes:
Silver (Ag) 258 g/t (7.5 oz/ton) Copper (Cu) 1.05% Tin (Sn) 1.18%
The sample material obtained by COMIBOL was bagged at 1-meter intervals and stored in the old flotation building. The samples that will be tested by BacTech will be taken from each sack for assaying. Should BacTech be able to confirm the abovementioned grades, a similar program would be conducted on the larger pile across the river.
There is considerable infrastructure at Telamayu. Some of the positive attributes with regard to building a bioleach facility in Telamayu include an operating power substation, an operating railway, a large camp and a reliable water source. There are also two additional tailings sites within 40-60 km that were not visited on this trip but will be in the near future.
BacTech Environmental holds the perpetual, exclusive, royalty-free rights to use the patented BACOX bioleaching technology for the reclamation of tailings and mining waste materials. In November, BacTech signed a contract with the Mines Branch of the Manitoba Department of Innovation, Energy and Mines, to remediate an arsenopyrite gold stockpile situated at the Snow Lake Mine in Snow Lake, Manitoba. The Company continues to field enquiries globally with respect to additional opportunities for remediation.
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BacTech Environmental Corporation
President & CEO
416-813-0303 ext 222
BacTech Environmental Corporation