El Mirador mine brings in BQE

Canada-headquartered BQE Water signed contracts for preparing an adaptive mine water management plan and for enhancing the design of a current plant for the El Mirador copper operation in southeastern Ecuador.
El Mirador mine brings in BQE El Mirador mine brings in BQE El Mirador mine brings in BQE El Mirador mine brings in BQE El Mirador mine brings in BQE

The El Mirador mine in Ecuador

The deals were inked with EcuaCorriente SA (ECSA), a subsidiary of a Chinese consortium that includes China Railway Construction and Tonglin Nonferrous Metals Group.

The first contract involves an assessment of the mine's water treatment plant, as well as an adaptive water management programme across the entire life of the mine, during which flow and quality will be monitored.

Under the second contract, BQE will offer technical support for adding "immediate improvements" to the existing water facility's engineering design and operation. The goal will be to reduce project risks and long-term operating costs.

"We selected BQE Water for their unique technical expertise, their successful track record in the design and operation of large water treatment plants for major Chinese mining producers, and for their ability to support project execution utilizing personnel from their South American, China and Canadian offices," stated Mr. Qiaofeng Xu, the project director for ECSA.

BQE Asia vice president Songlin Ye said that the company's ability to conduct business with large Chinese metal producers, as well as the success of its water treatment operations in China, both played a large role in securing the agreements.

"This is also an important project for us as it represents the first large mining project where BQE Water will be the technical lead for the overall site water management plan rather than focus only on water treatment," BQE Latin America general manager Oscar Lopez added.

"And with the long time horizon for water treatment at El Mirador, the current contracts may provide an opportunity for further cooperation between our two companies to support EcuaCorriente to reduce life cycle costs and conduct mining operations in an environmentally friendly manner at El Mirador."

El Mirador, a copper-gold porphyry operation, first entered production in 2019. Over its 30-year life span, it is projected to produce an average 200 million pounds of copper and 60,000 ounces of gold yearly.

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