BacTech Environmental has been granted a final environmental license permit approval by the Ministry of the Government for Ecuador, giving it approval to move forward with its plans to develop a bioleach processing facility in Tenguel.
The Toronto company, which has been working to commercialize its proprietary technology to remediate highly toxic tailing areas resulting from abandoned mining operations, confirmed the go-ahead on 19 November. All major permits are now in place for the facility.
Next step for BacTech: finalizing financing for the construction of the campus; it has also earmarked $3 million in dedicated monetary backing to purchase concentrates from local miners and supporting the local economy.
Once completed, the facility will be South America’s largest, most efficient bioleaching plant, using harmless and naturally occurring bacteria to treat gold and silver-containing materials with high arsenic levels.
Tenguel, which will include a 50-tpd plant that can process feed with 1.75 ounces per tonne, will be owner-operated. It will yield about 31,000 ounces annually.
BacTech said the modular plant designs allow for expansion without disrupting ongoing production. A Phase 2 plant would add 150-200 tpd of capacity, producing more than 100,000 ounces per year.