BacTech takes bioleach tech to Snow Lake

Toronto, Canada-based BacTech Environmental will be bringing its bioleach technology to the gold residual stockpile at Snow Lake in Manitoba, alongside partners GMR and Dundee Sustainable Technologies (DST)
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BacTech will bring its bioleaching techbology to Snow Lake in Canada

The teaming, formalised with a recent letter of intent, permits licensing of the technology and makes the company a technology partner as the group targets the use of the bioleaching for remediation of the stockpile site.

"GMR is relying on BacTech's historical research conducted in 2011-12 that showed oxidation rates of 95% and gold recovery of 88.6% on material obtained from the arsenic stockpile," the company said, citing previous work it had performed there. "Due to a lack of iron in the stockpile, the residual material could not be stabilised and was abandoned."

The Snow Lake site, now government owned, is made up of a stockpile of arsenopyrite concentrate proven to contain residual gold and silver contents. In one of its projects in 2011, BacTech drilled and assayed the stockpile and submitted a NI43-101 report.

The site's measured mineral resource estimates includes 264,596t grading 9.76g/t of gold and 2.17g/t of silver. Indicated resource estimates include 9,300t grading 9.2g/t gold and 2.15g/t silver and an inferred mineral resources total 28,000t of 7.0g/t gold and 2.4g/t silver.

"Our return to Snow Lake is predicated on Dundee Sustainable Technologies providing a solution to the unstable arsenic product we generated in our earlier work that killed the project," CEO Ross Orr noted.

"The stockpile has a deficiency in iron leading an unstable ferric arsenate product after bioleaching. By passing this unstable material to be vitrified the arsenic can be safely disposed. We look forward to re-engaging in the Snow Lake project."

Added GMR chief executive David LeClaire: "BacTech's historic work on the project and its proprietary bioleach technology teamed with DST's vitrification technology is a promising solution to the remediation of a longstanding environmental concern of the community of Snow Lake without cost to the taxpayer."