Is Tin the New Energy Metal?
Toronto, Ontario Canada, April 10, 2018. BacTech Environmental Corporation (“BacTech or the Company”) – CSE: BAC, OTC: BCCEF
At a recent Lithium and Battery Material conference held in Perth, Australia the head of Rio Tinto’s Venture (“RTZ”) group presented a chart from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) study they had commissioned to determine what metals and minerals were to be most impacted by new technologies using a number of criteria. Surprisingly, tin ranked #1 in the MIT study (see chart). The question is what was the reason behind their choice to rank tin #1?
It seems that every day there is a new technology that changes the demand landscape for existing materials. Lithium, of course, is the most recent and best example of a new use for an old material that has driven the price of it much higher due to increased demand. In markets where supply is constrained the effect on prices is even more exacerbated. This argument can be made for tin as prices in the early months of 2018 have risen to over $21,000 per tonne. There is a steady, rising trend of tin use in electronics and new strong indications that it will be used in emerging technologies coupled with a static supply curve has led to strengthening prices.
Tin is expected to increasingly contribute to modern, clean technologies including lithium-ion batteries for autonomous and electric vehicles. What is shaping up to be the wildcard is the battery market where advances have been made in battery technology. For instance, tin is used as a component in improving the productivity of lead-acid batteries. In 2016, China consumed 12,000 metric tonnes of tin for this application and globally 26,000 metric tonnes are consumed annually, and this number is rising making it the 4th most significant application for tin globally. To put this in context, the annual global mine supply of tin in 2017 was 280,000 tonnes.
Also, battery researchers are developing solid-state batteries utilising ceramic electrolytes (versus liquid) for improved safety and performance. Recent research has shown that adding tin to the silicon-based anode enhances its performance, creating the potential for tin to be a significant contributor to the next generation of lithium batteries.
As noted by Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. in their Industry Bulletin dated March 27, 2018, researchers at the Texas Material Institute have demonstrated a tin-aluminium alloy can be produced that is cheaper and double the charge capacity of today’s copper-graphite anodes for lithium-ion batteries.
Based on information from an independent NI 43-101 resource calculation completed in 2017, tin values account for 50% of the contained metal in BacTech’s Telamayu Tailings Project in Bolivia.
BacTech is optimizing its processing methods on the material at Telamayu to unlock the maximum amount of metal for recovery, which is anticipated to include not only tin but silver and copper. BacTech has been advised by the University of Oruro in Bolivia, which is an accredited lab, that our latest results which will detail metal recovery to date will be available for dissemination in the near future. Work is underway to add to our tin tailings holdings in Bolivia, a country that historically been one of the largest tin producers in the world.
Ross Orr, BacTech’s President and CEO stated “Given the limited number of public tin producers, BacTech, with its established tin resources, has the potential to become a near term tin producer. Based on the advanced stage of our Telamayu Tailings Project we have the capability to be in production in months, not years.”
The Telamayu project involves the environmental remediation of the “Antiguo” tailings and a Company option on the larger “Nuevo” tailings, both situated at the Telamayu mill site near the town of Atocha in the Department of Potosi in Bolivia. As part of the remediation process BacTech will recover silver, tin, and copper utilizing a conventional processing technology.
The existing Telamayu mill concentrator has generated the Antiguo and Nuevo tailings by processing mineralized material from the surrounding mines for over 80 years. There is considerable infrastructure at the mill site including high voltage power, rail, mill housing, and a local workforce. The current infrastructure will contribute to a reduction in capital costs of the project. Currently metallurgical test work is underway to determine the percentage of metal to be recoverable.
In addition, bioleach test work on concentrates and tailings material from the Ponce Enriques area of southern Ecuador continues at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada.
For further information contact: Ross Orr, President & CEO BacTech Environmental Corporation/ 416-813-0303 ext. 222 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lalli Marrato, Investor Relations: 647-669-7646, Email: email@example.com
Robin Cook, Investor Relations: 416-809-1738, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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This news release contains “forward-looking information”, which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to future tailings sites, sampling or other investigations of tailing sites, the Company’s ability to make use of infrastructure around tailings sites or operating performance of the Company and its projects. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified using words such as “plans”, “expects”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, or believes” or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release and the Company disclaims, other than as required by law, any obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether because of new information, results, future events, circumstances, or if management’s estimates or opinions should change, or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
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