November 17, 2015 – Toronto, Ontario: Duran Ventures Inc. (TSXV: DRV; BVL: DRV) (“Duran” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with BacTech Environmental Corporation (“BacTech” or the “Company”; CSE: BAC, OTC Pink: BCCEF, WKN: A1H4TY).
The basis of the MOU is to determine the financial viability of constructing a bioleach circuit to be built as an add on to Duran’s Aguila Norte mineral processing plant (“Aguila Norte Plant”) near Trujillo, Peru (see Duran NR dated October 19, 2015). BacTech and its predecessors use proprietary bacterial oxidation technology that liberates precious and base metals from difficult to treat sulphide ores and concentrates. The BacTech technology is the only one employed that has commercially-proven bioleaching technology for gold and base metal separation. To date 3 bioleach plants have been designed and built (2 in Australia and 1 in China). Construction of the Aguila Norte Plant, currently underway, is expected to be completed late in the 1st quarter 2016.
If deemed viable, the bioleach plant will be designed to address the high levels of arsenic that are present in high-grade precious metal material, which are prevalent in northern Peru. Duran’s geologists have already identified several prospective sources of this mineralized material, which is presently not treatable at most other toll-milling facilities in Peru. Both companies agree that a bioleach circuit at the Aguila Norte Plant will be an environmentally friendly alternative to process refractory and arsenic rich precious and base metal mineralized material mined by small scale miners. In many cases, gold rich refractory mineralized materials mined are treated with mercury in an attempt to extract gold from the host rocks. Recoveries of gold are very low and much of the material is discarded after mercury treatment leading to widespread contamination of soils and waterways.
If further investigation shows favorable economics on identifiable mineralized material, a Joint Venture will be formed with Duran’s 80% owned subsidiary Minera Aguila de Oro SAC (“MADOSAC”) and BacTech with each party holding 50% ownership of the bio-leach circuit. BacTech will finance the cost of the construction of the bio-leach circuit. Duran will have the right to participate in BacTech’s financing if a construction decision is considered.
Flotation will be the preferred method of treating the difficult refractory and arsenic rich gold/base metal material delivered to Duran’s Aguila Norte Plant. This flotation concentrate will then be processed through the bioleach circuit, which should deliver liberated gold for conventional recovery, possible by-product copper or silver and ferric arsenate for disposal. It should be noted that without eliminating the arsenic, any sale of this concentrate to a smelter would be very difficult given the restrictions imposed on smelters and their ability to burn arsenic. One of the major attributes of bioleaching is its ability to process high arsenic concentrates whereby the arsenic is converted to ferric arsenate, which is an acceptable final state product according to US EPA regulations.
The approximate ratio for concentration is roughly 20%. This means that for each 100 tonnes of mineralized material delivered to the flotation plant there would be 20 tonnes of concentrate produced and available for treatment through the bioleach circuit. Duran’s Aguila Norte Plant will charge a processing fee to the Joint Venture. Any profits generated by processing mineral through the bioleach circuit will be equally shared after first paying the Aguila Norte Plant its processing fee.
For the past several months Duran’s geologists have collected gold mineralized samples from different sites in northern Peru. The assay and metallurgical results from these samples convinced both parties that further investigation was warranted. It should be noted that some of the samples were representative of non-refractory sulphide mineralization and contained potential “preg-robbing” copper as well as gold. Another benefit of bioleaching is the ability to put this copper into solution for recovery as a by-product. This then allows for conventional recovery of the gold without the use of large amounts of cyanide that would be otherwise consumed by copper content.
Duran recently announced the construction schedule of its 80% owned Aguila Norte 100-ton per day flotation plant in Northern Peru. This permitted plant will process simple sulphide mineralized materials and if a bioleach circuit is added to the plant, the companies believe that more favorable mineral purchase agreements could be secured.
Duran’s intention is to expand to the maximum 350 tonnes per day allowed under the Peruvian small miners’ regulations. The Aguila Norte site is considered extremely favorable for a bioleach circuit because of its low elevation (200 metres above sea level elevation) and nearby workforce, water and power.
“We see a real need for a plant such as the one proposed at Duran’s Aguila Norte Plant near Trujillo in Northern Peru. Through Dr. Marcello Veiga at the University of British Columbia School of Mining we learned about the issues in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia concerning the use of mercury in artisanal mining. Unfortunately creating a concentrate with high arsenic restricts the options for processing leading to very little value being created for the artisanal miner. With bioleaching we hope to be able to eliminate mercury use, stabilize the arsenic and provide a better livelihood for the artisanal miners both financially as well as from a health perspective,” said Ross Orr, President and CEO of BacTech.
“We feel that this investigation and the continued study of a variety of mineralized materials throughout Peru will be very beneficial for miners. The location of the Aguila Norte Plant is ideal and will be able to process ore of many types for several decades due to favorable infrastructure and topography. Duran is continually reviewing and acquiring concessions and some have high-grade arsenic-rich mineralization ideal for bioleach processing. We look forward to working with the BacTech team and look forward to a positive outcome,” said Jeffrey Reeder, President and CEO of Duran.
Jeffrey Reeder, P.Geo., and a qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101, has prepared and approved the scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release.
Duran Ventures Inc. is a Canadian exploration company focused on the exploration and development of precious and base metal properties, and mineral processing in Peru.
Duran Ventures Inc. is a Canadian resource company listed on the
TSX Venture Exchange and the Bolsa de Valores de Lima: Symbol “DRV”
For additional information, contact: Jeffrey Reeder Tel: (647) 302-3290
or Oscar Pezo at (011) 511 422-1467
Website: www.duranventuresinc.com Email: [email protected]
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains certain “Forward-Looking Statements” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. We use words such as “might”, “will”, “should”, “anticipate”, “plan”, “expect”, “believe”, “estimate”, “forecast” and similar terminology to identify forward looking statements and forward-looking information. Such statements and information are based on assumptions, estimates, opinions and analysis made by management in light of its experience, current conditions and its expectations of future developments as well as other factors which it believes to be reasonable and relevant. Forward-looking statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements and information and accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on such statements and information. Risks and uncertainties are more fully described in our annual and quarterly Management’s Discussion and Analysis and in other filings made by us with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com. While the Company believes that the expectations expressed by such forward-looking statements and forward-looking information and the assumptions, estimates, opinions and analysis underlying such expectations are reasonable, there can be no assurance that they will prove to be correct. In evaluating forward-looking statements and information, readers should carefully consider the various factors which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward looking statements and forward-looking information.