BQE Water, Inc. [BQE-TSXV], a leader in mine water management, has signed an Operating Services Agreement with AuRico Metals Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centerra Gold Inc. [CG-TSX], for water treatment at the Kemess Mine site located 430 km northwest of Prince George and 250 km north of Smithers, northern British Columbia, Canada.
The treatment plant will remove heavy metals and selenium. The selenium removal portion of the overall treatment will utilize BQE Water’s patented Selen-IX™ process and treat up to 6,400 m3/day of mine impacted water. The initial term of the agreement is five years beginning on January 1, 2020 and includes a provision for a three-year term extension subject to satisfactory plant performance. The services provided by BQE Water under the agreement and the compensation received, will be similar to the Raglan Mine (Ungava region, northern Québec) water treatment agreement with Glencore where BQE Water earns treatment fees linked directly to the volume of water discharged into the environment subject to effluent water quality meeting project requirements. The agreement follows an earlier Engineering Services Agreement between AuRico and BQE Water to implement the proposed treatment at the site.
“We have been working with BQE Water for the past three years to advance our Kemess Underground Mine Project in BC,” stated John Fitzgerald, VP Projects & Technical Services of Centerra Gold. “After a successful pilot program, we received regulatory approvals for advancing the project with Selen-IX™ as the means of controlling selenium in environmental discharge over the project life.”
David Kratochvil, President and CEO of BQE Water, commented, “The signing of this agreement represents a major milestone for us. Not only does it increase the portfolio of plants operated by BQE Water and will contribute recurring revenue in North America, but crucially it assigns the responsibility for the startup and operation of the first commercial scale Selen-IX™ plant to us as the technology provider. Based on our 14 years of operations experience at the Raglan Mine project, we believe that this agreement provides an excellent platform for Centerra Gold and BQE Water to develop a long-term relationship vested in the success of the Kemess Underground project.”
Detailed engineering for the plant has been issued for construction and the project is currently in early stages of procurement and equipment fabrication. The plant is expected to complete commissioning by the end of 2019 with operations beginning in 2020.
The feasibility-stage Kemess Underground Project is host to the former Kemess South (KS) Mine, the KUG deposit and the KE deposit. The KUG deposit is about 6.5 km north of the existing KS processing plant and other infrastructure.