Mining solutions for a greener planet

BacTech Environmental:
Spurring a Revolution in Environmental Remediation

BacTech is a pioneering, environmental technology company that has developed and commercialized a proprietary technology to remediate highly toxic tailing areas resulting from abandoned mining operations. In addition, the Company recently added processing of arsenopyrite ores produced by artisanal miners in South America to its’ slate of offerings.

BacTech’s core technology, called “bioleaching”, employs naturally-occurring bacteria, harmless to both humans and the environment, to oxidize the sulphide materials left behind after years of mining. The tailings may contain ores and related materials contaminated by arsenic and other substances that are poisonous to humans and animals, as well as harmful to the local environment. The sulphides in the tailings react (oxidize) with the atmosphere to create an acidic solution called acid rock drainage (“ARD”), which leaches into the surrounding area over time. BacTech’s bioleaching process can stabilize these toxins from minerals and prevent additional harmful AMD. The technology provides a “Garden of Eden” environment for the bacteria to thrive and multiply and permits them to achieve in 6 days what would normally take 20 years to occur naturally.

Why NOW is the Time for a Permanent Solution

The worldwide contamination caused by abandoned mines and artisanal mining (mercury) are so widespread that it is neither quantified nor fully evaluated. It is generally accepted, however, that in countries with a long history of mining, the magnitude of the problem is considerable; these areas are generally laden with toxic chemicals that leach into the surrounding areas. There are tens of thousands of sites around the world that contain mining-related arsenic, mercury and other substances. The public is increasingly demanding that the governments and companies responsible address the contamination due to the negative consequences of such sites. These effects include polluted water, contaminated land, air pollution, loss of useful groundwater and land, and significant negative health consequences to humans and animals living in the area.

BacTech’s approach is to “cure the patient”, as opposed to treating the patient over many years. In other words, stop the creation of ARD by removing the sulphides from the tailings. Current practice in the industry calls for the treatment of long-term water discharge from the tailings which is expensive and allows the possibility for future problems, as the sulphides remain in the tailings. In addition, where governments have been left with the legacy of past mining, we endeavour to use the “no cost to the government” approach in which BacTech pays itself through the recovery of contained metal should it be determined to be economically viable.

The Technology: Bioleaching

BacTech’s patented BACOX technology (licensed from REBgold Corporation) uses naturally-occurring bacteria, harmless to both humans and the environment, to oxidize the contained sulphides and separate metal from the difficult-to-process tailings. In the process, toxic elements such as arsenic are stabilized. The tailings created by bioleaching are benign, and zero environmental damage occurs as a result of the process. An added bonus is its ability to recover valuable metals such as gold, silver, cobalt and nickel that remain in the tailings