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MEI Online: Biotechnology: Latest News: January 30th 2009


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:: BacTech Partners with Haileybury School of Mines

BacTech Mining Corporation is pleased to announce that it will sponsor, in partnership with Northern College's Haileybury School of Mines "HSM"), a bacterial oxidation technician's course to be hosted at the Haileybury Campus located near Cobalt, Ontario.

In 2008, BacTech became increasingly active in the Cobalt area through investigation of the use of its proprietary bioleach technology to treat arsenic-laden mine tailings left behind 100 years ago by silver miners. BacTech has applied to various government agencies for a portion of the capital needed to construct a bioleach pilot plant near Cobalt. The proposed plant will initially treat up to 200,000 tonnes of tailings from the old Castle Mine near Gowganda, Ontario.

BacTech has identified a need for technicians trained in the operation of bioleach facilities, not only at the proposed Cobalt plant, but at future operations. At this time, expertise in the field is limited to a select few. Dr. Paul Miller, BacTech's Vice President of Engineering and Technology, and Dr. Chris Kennedy of the University of Toronto, will partner with Northern College Faculty in designing the course for a planned September 2009 launch. It is hoped that students in the program will obtain hands on experience at the BacTech pilot plant and will obtain employment in the field, either in Cobalt or at future bioleach plants. BacTech is continually evaluating new opportunities for its technology both in Canada and abroad.

Bioleaching is an environmentally benign process technology for treating difficult to treat sulphide ores and concentrates. By replacing smelting and/or roasting with a bioleach process, production of sulphur dioxide emissions, the primary source of acid rain, is eliminated. In addition, the capital and operating costs of a bioleach facility are significantly less than for existing treatment methods.

"The Haileybury School of Mines continues to reinvent itself into a responsive and active partner in the development of opportunity for our communities, and we thank BacTech for their collaborative approach to this project," stated Shawn Chorney, Associate Director, HSM. "This project will provide new employment opportunities for Northerners and the involvement of HSM means that the people of this region will benefit from high quality training in this emerging field."

Ross Orr, BacTech's President & CEO, said, "We are very pleased to have established this relationship with an institution that has such a long history in the Canadian mining industry. The potential is there for the Haileybury School of Mines to become a leader in providing graduates for the bioleaching industry."




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