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Ecuador Begins Final Review for Bioleaching Plant Permit

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Green tech company BacTech Environmental Corp. says Ecuador's government has begun the final review process for the last major permit for its bioleaching plant on Monday.

Ecuador's government has begun the final review process for the last major permit for green technology company BacTech Environmental Corp.'s (BAC:CSE;BCCEF:OTCQB;OBT1:FRA) bioleaching plant in Tenguel on Monday.

The company had 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.

A decree signed by President Guillermo Lasso sets up the final permitting process for the company.

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

"There is nothing to fear or oppose and everything to like about a project that 1. Is 'green,' 2. Mitigates past/present environmental degradation, 3. Produces gold and other metals, 4. Provides jobs and tax revenues eventually for the government, 5. Provides more support to the local community/businesses, and 6. Produces paychecks for many locals light years beyond anything they have ever seen," Temple wrote.

The Catalyst: A Growing Sector

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.

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

"BacTech is like a poster child for what is legitimately a green cause," Chris Temple, editor of The National Investor, has written.

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.

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

"On the five-year chart, we can see how the downtrend from the late 2021 peak brought the price back down to a cyclical low at strong long-term support where an intermediate base pattern has formed," he wrote.

"Moving sideways within this base pattern resulted in the price breaking out from the downtrend before breaking higher last month into what is believed to be a new bullmarket, so the reaction back of recent weeks in response to the financing is viewed as presenting an opportunity to buy it at a good price ahead of renewed advance," he wrote.

Co. Looks to Issue Green Bonds

The company also announced that it had provided all necessary documentation to Moody's for verification of BacTech as a Green Bond issuer.

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

"BacTech meets all the criteria needed to apply for Green Bond certification, and I'm confident we are focused on the right financial instrument to develop the Tenguel project," BacTech President and Chief Executive Officer Ross Orr said.

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

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.

BacTech also said it had closed a third tranche of its recent placement for US$132,000. The offering consists of 1.65 million units consisting of a common share and a common share purchase warrant that allows the holder to purchase an additional common share at US$0.12 for a period of two years from closing.

Help From Veterans

The company also 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.

"We had the good fortune to recently meet with Ross at an industry conference where we learned more about BacTech's proprietary bioleaching technology," LoPresti said. "We were impressed with the company's vision, investment potential, and unfolding plans for the bioleaching and gold recovery facility in Ecuador. This is a great fit for Moneta's global network."

Streetwise Ownership Overview*

BacTech Environmental Corp. (BAC:CSE;BCCEF:OTCQB;OBT1:FRA)

*Share Structure as of 4/13/2023

For the services, BacTech will issue Moneta 500,000 common share purchase options at US$0.10 per share and an additional 500,000 options exercisable at US$0.20 per share for a period of two years from the date of the grant. The options will vest in stages over a 12-month period, with 100,000 options vesting every month for ten months following the grant date.

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 183.46 million shares outstanding, including 159.12 million free floating. Its market cap is CA$16.55 million, and it trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.11 and CA$0.055.

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Important Disclosures:

  1. BacTech Environmental Corp. are billboard sponsor(s) of Streetwise Reports and has paid SWR a sponsorship fee between US$3,000 and US$5,000.
    As of the date of this article, officers and/or employees of Streetwise Reports LLC (including members of their household) own securities of BacTech Environmental Corp.
  2. Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an employee.
  3. The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional. By opening this page, each reader accepts and agrees to Streetwise Reports' terms of use and full legal disclaimer. This article is not a solicitation for investment. Streetwise Reports does not render general or specific investment advice and the information on Streetwise Reports should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Streetwise Reports does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company mentioned on Streetwise Reports.

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