Green Tech Co. Gets Environmental Impact Approval in Ecuador

Now BacTech Environmental Corp. must pursue the community consultation phase before receiving final environmental permit for its Tenguel bioleaching plant.

BacTech Environmental Corp. (BAC:CSE;BCCEF:OTCQB;OBT1:FRA) has received approval from the government for its environmental impact study for its new bioleaching plant opening next year in Tenguel, Ecuador.

The Ministry of Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition has given its OK to BacTech’s Environmental Social Impact Assessment. Now BacTech must pursue the final community consultation phase before receiving the final environmental permit.

The move was not surprising, said Chris Temple, editor of The National Investor. The country had already approved BacTech’s construction permit in March and signed an Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) in May, giving the company a 12-year income tax holiday and international arbitration for disputes.

Temple said he also expects the community consultation process to go smoothly. “This is a great project for the area,” he said.

“It’s one more step in the process of de-risking this whole thing,” Temple told Streetwise Reports. “As they further the process and the project’s financing, it’s one less reason for somebody to say no to what is a really killer project — financially, environmentally, and culturally.”

The IPA covers $95.5 million in plant construction and gold activity through 2024 and additional investments and expansions.

Using naturally occurring bacteria, bioleaching makes it possible to work with lower-grade ore and recover metals from tailings sites as well as mines. As the company likes to say, “Our bugs eat rocks.” Bacteria chew and oxidize the sulfides in the rock like mortar in a brick wall. Once that mortar is gone, the wall crashes down, President and Chief Executive Officer Ross Orr said.

Bioleaching was attempted commercially in South Africa in 1986. There have been more than 20 plants built globally since then.

The Catalyst


The approval sets up the final community consultation stage of the permit process for BacTech. The company will give presentations, hold town halls, and reply to questions from residents.

Orr said he does not expect much pushback since the company isn’t in the business of creating mines or polluting but cleaning up after them.

“A lot of it gets bogged down on the consultation side, with the locals saying . . .  we don’t want this mine, we don’t want you digging a hole in the ground and polluting the area,” Orr said. “But we don’t have that issue because somebody else is already doing that. We’re just buying their product and processing it. We’re not polluting anything. As a matter of fact, we’re stopping arsenic and cyanide and mercury from being dumped into a river.”

The plant will also have a small footprint, as much of the 100 acres of land bought for it will continue to be used by local farmers. BacTech has agreed to let them keep harvesting 80% of the farm’s thousands of cocoa trees.

Temple said he also expects the community consultation process to go smoothly. “This is a great project for the area,” he said.

To add to the feed going into the plant, there are 90 small mines in the area that produce significant amounts of arsenic with gold in the area. The plant would process about 30,900 ounces gold (Au) per year. There is potential for expansion; the total availability of materials in the area is an estimated 250 tonnes per day.

The plant would have pre-tax earnings of about US$10.9 million and a two-year payback period, according to data from EPCM Consultores.

The company has also opened a pilot facility to recover nickel, cobalt, iron, and a geopolymer product from pyrrhotite concentrates produced over the last century in Ontario.

Ownership and Share Structure


Last week, BacTech started trading on the OTCQB Venture Market in the United States under the ticker symbol BCCEF. It will continue to be traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange under BAC.

Nearly half of the company, 49%, is held by insiders, management, and strategic shareholders, the biggest of which is Option Three Advisory Services Ltd., which owns 9.05%, or 15.57 million shares, according to Reuters. That also includes CEO Orr, who owns 3.8% or 6.54 million shares, and Board Director Timothy Lewin, who owns 0.57% or 0.98 million shares.

The company has 173.3 million shares outstanding, including 147.7 million free floating. Its market cap is CA$14.74 million, and it trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.17 and CA$0.08.

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1) Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC. He or members of his household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. He or members of his household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.

2) The following companies mentioned in this article are billboard sponsors of Streetwise Reports: BacTech Environmental Corp. Click here for important disclosures about sponsor fees. The information provided above is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. As of the date of this article, an affiliate of Streetwise Reports has a consulting relationship with BacTech Environmental Corp. Please click here for more information.

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