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Ecuadorian Gov ‘Hits Ground Running’ for Final Plant Review

June 30, 2023 ( Newswire) The team from the Ecuadorian government overseeing the final permit review process for green technology company BacTech Environmental Corp.’s bioleaching plant in Tenguel has “hit the ground running.”

The team from the Ecuadorian government overseeing the final permit review process for green technology company BacTech Environmental Corp.’s (BAC:CSE;BCCEF:OTCQB;OBT1:FRA) bioleaching plant in Tenguel has “hit the ground running,” the company said.

BacTech Vice President Environment Kate Castro is leading the process for the company and has been meeting with local politicians, Chief Executive Office Ross Orr said.

“The project is being well received by the locals and they look forward to getting to work,” Orr wrote in his weekly “Sunday Morning Coffee” email to shareholders and supporters. “I estimate that process will be complete by the end of August.”

The company received its construction permit and approval from the government for its environmental impact study on the site but has been working through the community consultation phase for the final environmental permit.

President Guillermo Lasso has signed a decree setting up the final permitting process for the company.

Chris Temple, the editor of The National Investor, recently wrote that “it’s hard to conceive of any reason why the community would oppose this.”

Temple also noted the government’s progress in the process in his issue this week.

“Events on the ground to get BacTech to the permitting and financing finish lines are seeing further progress,” he wrote.

The Catalyst: Raising Cash With Green Bonds

Temple also noted that BacTech had enlisted some “celebrity” assistance in its quest to be verified as a Green Bond issuer.

Green bonds are fixed-income instruments that raise funds to finance projects with positive environmental or climate benefits.

The company has engaged Moneta Advisory Partners LLC, co-founded by Wall Street veterans Marc LoPresti and Jon Najarian, to launch a “multi-channel content production and investor awareness program.”

LoPresti has over 25 years of experience in alternative investments and regularly appears on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox. Najarian worked as a floor trader for 25 years and now invests and works with start-ups through the venture capital firm he co-founded, Rebellion Partners. He regularly contributes to CNBC and appears on Fox Business.

The company hopes to raise US$20 million for the plant, which saw its construction permit approved last March. The company also signed an Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) with the government in May, giving it a 12-year income tax holiday and international arbitration for disputes.

For the feed going into the plant, there are 90 small mines in the area that produce significant amounts of arsenic with gold in the area. The plant would process about 30,900 ounces gold (Au) per year. There is potential for expansion; the total availability of materials in the area is an estimated 250 tonnes per day.

At current prices, the plant would have pre-tax earnings of about US$14 million and a two-year payback period, according to Orr.

Company to Attend Green Expo in Mexico

Orr also announced that the company is joining the Canadian delegation at the Green Expo Sept. 4-8 in Mexico City, being organized by the Ontario Trade and Investment Office in Mexico and Global Affairs Canada to support companies looking for opportunities in Mexico and Latin America.

Topics to be covered at the conference include recycling and waste management, sustainable construction, biomass and biogas solutions, renewable and clean energy, and water solutions.

“Green Expo represents an excellent opportunity to present BacTech’s proprietary and eco-friendly bioleaching solution to recover metals like gold, silver, cobalt, nickel, and copper while also safely removing harmful contaminants like arsenic,” Orr said.

The company’s motto, “Our bugs eat rocks,” describes bioleaching, which uses naturally occurring bacteria, harmless to humans and the environment, to extract precious and base metals from ores, concentrates, and tailings.

If the rocks are bricks in a wall, sulfur is the mortar. BacTech’s bacteria eat the sulfur, causing the wall to come crashing down.

“BacTech is like a poster child for what is legitimately a green cause,” Temple has written.

Technical Analyst Clive Maund of also rated BacTech an Immediate Buy in March.

The green mining space is growing. Research company Markets and Markets said it is expected to grow from an estimated US$9 billion in 2019 to US$12.9 billion by 2024.

Ownership and Share Structure

Nearly half of the company, 49%, is held by insiders, management, and strategic shareholders, the biggest of which is Option Three Advisory Services Ltd., which owns 8.48%, or 15.57 million shares, according to Reuters. That also includes CEO Orr, who owns 3.57% or 6.54 million shares, and Board Director Timothy Lewin, who owns 0.54% or 0.98 million shares.

The rest is retail.

The company has 185.36 million shares outstanding, including 159.12 million free floating. Its market cap is CA$14.81 million, and it trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.10 and CA$0.055.

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