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Decision Could Come Soon for Bioleaching Plant Approval Process

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This environmental technology company is working through the process to get its bioleaching plant approved in Ecuador. Read why it has stalled and why two newsletter writers like this company's stock.

BacTech Environmental Corp. (BAC:CSE;BCCEF:OTCQB;OBT1:FRA) may find out soon if the environmental consultation process for its bioleaching plant in Ecuador will continue, the company's chief executive officer and president noted.

In his weekly "Sunday Morning Coffee" email to shareholders and supporters, Ross Orr said he's been told they can anticipate in as soon as two weeks a decision from the Constitutional Court of Ecuador on the fate of a presidential decree unlocking the Tenguel plant's approval track.

"We believe that any company that was already in the consultation process will be grandfathered except for projects that are on indigenous lands," Orr wrote. "We are in the process, and we are not on aboriginal land."

The temporary suspension came after an initial complaint filed by the indigenous group CONAIE, or the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador.

BacTech shareholder and editor of The National Investor, Chris Temple, wrote last month that the Tenguel project "enjoys overwhelming support in the local communities."

On September 18, the court heard arguments for and against the decree. Prensa Latina reported that during the hearing, an Ecuadorian business group told the Constitutional Court that as many as 176 processes are being paralyzed nationwide by the suspension, with a negative impact of US$2 billion on the economy.

But the company is in the business of cleaning up messes, not creating them, another reason its officials are optimistic about the decision.

"We will liberate gold and silver for recovery while producing a stable form of arsenic as a by-product," Orr has said.

Election Runoff Set

At the same time, the country faced a constitutional crisis this year, and now a presidential election has set the stage for a runoff contest on October 15 between Luisa González, of the Movimiento Revolución Ciudadana party and Daniel Noboa of National Democratic Action.

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

González ran for the party of former leftist President Rafael Correa, who supported her run from exile in Belgium after being convicted of corruption. But Noboa has now taken the lead in the polls.

The son of a banana tycoon, Noboa's family is considered the richest in the country and has invested in Canadian junior mining company Adventus Zinc Corp.

"Consequently, it's reasonable to assume that they would be supportive of resource development," Orr wrote Sunday.

Crime has topped the agenda of the race, which saw the assassination of candidate Fernando Villavicencio, an anti-corruption journalist.

The Catalyst: Overwhelming Local Support

BacTech 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 its final environmental permit. In addition to the suspension of the process, several lawsuits have been filed against the decree.

BacTech shareholder and editor of The National Investor, Chris Temple, wrote last month that the Tenguel project "enjoys overwhelming support in the local communities."

"Keeping in mind the fact that Ecuador's highest court is even more political than the typical U.S. courts, their game plan encourages us," Temple wrote. "With the Constitutional Court of a mind to give this controversy . . .  thorough attention, I tend to think what will be revealed is that CONIAE and the rest dramatically overplayed their hand."

The company recently launched a new sustainable framework for issuing US$20 million in Green Bonds to pay for the plant.

"We've discovered a gem in Ecuador, and despite the current challenges, we're confident in overcoming them," Orr said. "While governments may change, environmental issues persist until addressed. I firmly believe that Ecuador is just the first in a series of successes that will follow once we demonstrate the capabilities of our technology."

BacTech's bioleaching process uses naturally occurring bacteria, harmless to humans and the environment, to extract precious and base metals from ores, concentrates, and tailings. "Our bugs eat rocks," the company says.

Streetwise Ownership Overview*

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

*Share Structure as of 4/13/2023

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

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$17.61 million, and it trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.10 and CA$0.055.

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Important Disclosures:

  1. BacTech Environmental Corp. is a billboard sponsor of Streetwise Reports and pays SWR a monthly sponsorship fee between US$4,000 and US$5,000.
  2. 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.
  3. Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an employee.
  4. 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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