BQE signs multi-year water treatment deal at Minto copper mine

Minto copper mine, Yukon. Minto Metals photo

BQE Water, a leader in the treatment and management of mine impacted waters, has entered into an operating services agreement with Minto Metals (TSXV: MNTO) to provide plant operations services for an existing water treatment plant at Minto copper mine, located approximately 240 km northwest of Whitehorse, Yukon, through to 2024.

Under the agreement, BQE Water will be responsible for clean water production at the mine where the final effluent must meet stringent requirements not only for metals but ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate to protect the aquatic life in the receiving environment. Included in the operations services provided by BQE Water will be on-site technical supervision, co-ordination with Minto’s environmental and metallurgical team to maximize the volume of water discharged into the environment, operator training, and on-site and off-site engineering support.

BQE Water’s compensation will be composed of a base monthly fee and a supplemental fee for the volume of water treated that meets discharge specifications. It is estimated the plant will treat and discharge 400,000 m3 of mine water for the remainder of the year and approximately 750,000 to 1.0 million m3 of mine water in each subsequent year of the current contract.

“We are highly appreciative of the responsiveness and technical proficiency provided by BQE Water to address the concerns we had with our water treatment plant,” stated Loralee Johnstone, VP of environment and social governance for the mine. “The transition to their operations has been systematic and transparent, with the resulting operational work surpassing our expectations.”

As part of its role at Minto, BQE Water has engaged in discussions with the mine and the Selkirk First Nation about creating an active role for the local community to participate in clean water production at the site to ensure the continued protection of land and water for countless generations in the future.

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