VTI 0.00% 4.0¢ visioneering technologies, inc.

company update

  1. 2 May 2003
    The Directors provide the following update on some recent activities of Virotec
    International Ltd (ASX/AIM: VTI). This update is to inform shareholders and the
    market of the significant progress made commercially in each of Virotec’s main
    divisions and in other corporate areas.
    ViroMine Division
    This Division predominantly services the mining industry, providing solutions to acid
    mine/rock drainage and waste rock dump remediation. The following progress has
    been achieved within the Division:-
    Agua Forte – Portugal
    Virotec has successfully completed its work on the Agua Forte mine remediation
    project in Portugal with its strategic partner Terra Plus. The project was
    commissioned by EXMIN (Companhia de Industria e Servicos Minieiros e Ambientais
    SA) and Virotec, Terra Plus and EXMIN are now considering further remediation
    projects in Portugal.
    U.S. EPA (Region 8)
    As previously advised the initial trials at the Gilt Edge Mine in South Dakota
    conducted by the U.S. EPA (Region 8) have been completed and a case study is
    now available on the project from Virotec’s website. Due to the satisfactory results
    achieved, Virotec will participate in further trials to be conducted on site. Results of
    these trials will be provided to the market when it is available from the U.S. EPA.
    Geoenvirotec – Korea
    Virotec has shipped the first container load of 22 tonnes of Acid B Extra™ to its
    Korean strategic partner Geoenvirotec Co. Ltd. for use in an acid rock drainage
    project being conducted by its client, Korea Highway Corporation. Dr. Jeongyul Suh,
    CEO of Geoenvirotec, has reported, “After a successful visit to Virotec's commercial
    laboratory in Lismore and mine remediation centre in Drake by officials of Korea
    Highway Corporation and other Korean delegates, we have secured the first of
    several contracts for the treatment of acid rock drainage and waste rock dump
    remediation in South Korea. The officials were particularly impressed with Virotec’s
    new active mineral treatment system, and together we see many more application
    possibilities in different industries for such a system.”

    Savage River - Tasmania
    Virotec and its project partner, Pitt and Sherry consulting engineers, have been
    contracted by the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment
    (DPIWE) in Tasmania and have successfully conducted initial trials of the ViroMine
    Technology on acid mine drainage at the Savage River mine site. This initial testing
    is anticipated to be the first stage in the remediation of the Savage River site.
    ViroFlow Division
    This Division provides wastewater and sludge management services to a variety of
    industries, providing solutions to deal with wastewater contaminated with heavy
    metals and phosphorous. The following progress has been achieved within the
    Virotec has completed a one-month funded wastewater treatment demonstration
    using its ViroFlow™ Technology at Australia’s largest sheepskin tannery located in
    Queensland. Wastewater generated from the tanning process had high levels of
    chromium, suspended solids, BOD and sulphates. The existing wastewater
    treatment system was inadequate and required substantial improvement in order to
    reduce the levels of pollutants in the discharge water to acceptable limits to comply
    with Regulatory guidelines. Virotec’s ViroChrome™ reagent was used to treat
    wastewater from the tannery and successfully reduced the levels of contaminants in
    the wastewater, in particular chromium and sulphates, to well below the regulatory
    discharge limit. A noticeable reduction in odour has also been reported by tannery
    staff and local government officials.
    Following the outstanding success of the demonstration, Virotec has signed a twoyear
    license to supply ViroFlow™ Technology to the tannery. In addition, Virotec
    expects to begin later in 2003 remediation trials on existing tannery sludge stockpiles
    which have accumulated for 25 years at the same tannery.
    Whilst this license is not significant in dollar terms, it is significant in demonstrating
    market acceptance and the commercial viability of Virotec’s innovative technologies
    in this large global market.
    Virotec has also agreed to demonstrate the ViroFlow™ Technology at another two
    tanneries, one in central Queensland and one in New South Wales, commencing in
    May 2003. These demonstrations will be fully funded and once completed will
    provide Virotec with complete case studies on different size tanneries that will
    facilitate the appointment of the appropriate strategic partners and the marketing of
    the Technology overseas.
    Paper Mill
    Virotec has been awarded a contract for the remediation of mercury contaminated
    wastewater at a Tasmanian paper mill. Whilst the size of the project is small, it
    demonstrates the ability of the Technology to remediate mercury contaminated
    industrial wastewater which was stored for more than 10 years without any viable
    solution. The usage of the ViroFlow solution has been approved by DPIWE in Tasmania. There are significant markets for this solution, particularly in Europe,
    which the company is presently exploring.
    ViroSewage Division
    This Division predominantly services the sewage industry, providing solutions for the
    removal of phosphorous and heavy metals, the reduction of Biochemical Oxygen
    Demand (BOD), and Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and the control of odour in
    sewage effluent, and for the management of bio-solids. The following progress has
    been achieved within the Division:-
    Kilcoy STP Trial Completed
    Virotec successfully completed a full-scale trial of ViroSewage™ Technology at the
    Kilcoy Shire Council sewage treatment plant (STP), in Queensland, Australia, in
    February 2003, Independent analysis demonstrated that ViroSewage™ is an
    effective means of decreasing phosphorous, odour, (BOD), and (TSS) in sewage
    effluent, improving colour, turbidity, and clarity in treated effluent, and increasing
    hydraulic throughput.
    Cecil Forbes, the chief engineer of Kilcoy’s STP has said “The implementation of
    ViroSewage™ Technology has resulted in significant improvements in removal of
    phosphorous, nitrogen, suspended solids and biochemical oxygen demand.
    Additionally, the clarity of the treated water has been consistently high, and is a vast
    improvement over our previous system. We have found there has been substantial
    odour reduction from the typical odour generation points, such as the primary clarifier
    and digester.
    “ViroSewage™ Technology has also enabled us to look at re-use options for the biosolids.
    The bio-solids produced are currently sent to landfill and we are now
    investigating re-use of this valuable resource.”
    Appointment of Business Development Manager
    Virotec has appointed Mr Frank Gnanam as International Business Development
    Manager for the ViroSewage™ Division.
    Mr. Gnanam, MBA B Tech Chem Engg CPE CE MIEAust MIChemE, is an
    experienced Business Developer who, between 1995–2002, had responsibility for the
    marketing, sales and business development activities for Australia, New Zealand and
    the Asia Pacific whilst employed by BP Solar Australia (renewable energy) and Sulo
    Australia (solid waste management). Prior to this period Mr Gnanam has
    predominantly worked in specialist water and wastewater treatment companies,
    notably as Plant Manager with Sydney Water (1991–1994), managing the operations,
    maintenance and asset management of Sydney Water’s second largest STP. As a
    result, in addition to his experience in business development, Mr. Gnanam is well
    versed with equipment and technology used in the wastewater treatment industry.
    Mr Gnanam is charged with developing a cash flow positive business from the
    ViroSewage™ Technology, initially in Australia with a view to the international market
    in due course.

    ViroSoil Division
    This Division predominantly services agricultural, industry and property developers,
    providing solutions for dealing with acid and heavy metals mobilisation generated
    from Acid Sulphate Soils, as well as fertiliser and soil remediation services. The
    following progress has been achieved within the Division:-
    The commercial demonstration of the treatment of Acid Sulphate Soils (ASS) at a
    prawn farm owned by Tomei Australia Pty Ltd has concluded. Results achieved
    demonstrate that the ViroSoil™ Technology has the ability to lower pond pH and
    reduce heavy metals in pond sand, both major stressors on prawn life and growth.
    Independent toxicology studies performed also reveal that there was no metal uptake
    in monodon prawns in the two ponds to which the ViroBind™ reagent was applied.
    The crop has been harvested in April 2003 with the yields from the ponds treated
    with the ViroBind™ reagent being the highest ever recorded for the ponds.
    Mr Thorbjorn Lyster of Tomei Australia noted that:
    “The soil and water analytical results taken from within the prawn ponds confirmed
    the efficacy of Virotec’s treatment. Visual inspection and toxicology analyses
    showed that the prawns were as healthy as any on the farm during the later stages of
    the crop. Due to market factors, these ponds were amongst the last prawns to be
    harvested from the farm however they appear to have survived well and were able to
    grow to a larger than anticipated size.
    We are still finishing up the harvesting process and have not yet been able
    to complete our results, however it is clear at this stage that the results for at least
    one of the treated ponds (Pond #12) is the best we have seen for this pond in the 8
    years of its existence.
    This pond is expected to yield at a rate of around 4 times than that of the next
    best harvest ever from that pond, and in the order of 100 times better than the usual
    production level in this pond. For the first time since its construction this badly
    affected pond has produced at a commercially viable level. At this stage it appears
    that the yields from both treated ponds are better than we would generally expect
    from these ponds when compared with our highest yielding ponds for the same
    prawn species.”
    Following this successful application, Virotec plans to actively market the ViroSoil™
    Technology to the aquaculture market, initially in Australia and then internationally.
    Alumina Services and Production Division
    This Division predominantly services the Alumina Refinery industry by marketing the
    Basecon™ Technology, a treatment for the residue generated by refineries and is
    responsible for the production of Virotec’s product range. The following progress has
    been achieved within the Division:-

    MAL – Hungary
    Virotec has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with MAL
    Hungarian Aluminium Producing and Trading Co. Ltd. in Hungary to evaluate the
    introduction of the Basecon™ technology. The stated objective of the MOU is to
    assist the refinery to cease the production of caustic red mud waste. The evaluation
    process will be funded by the refinery and Virotec will have exclusive use of the
    treated material for its future production of its Bauxsol™ range of products.
    Eurallumina Production
    Virotec has streamlined its production process at the Eurallumina plant in Sardinia
    (Italy) and is now able to produce a range of its products more efficiently. As a result,
    products are now being despatched from Eurallumina throughout Europe and
    Corporate and Other Matters
    In addition to the commercial progress noted above, Virotec continues to negotiate a
    number of agreements and alliances that will assist in advancing the Company into
    new sectors and regions.
    License for the HydroDec Technology
    The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (“CSIRO”) has
    granted to Virotec an exclusive licence to commercialise the HydroDec Technology.
    The licence has an initial term of 13 years which may be extended subject to Virotec
    meeting minimum performance criteria.
    The HydroTec Technology was developed and patented by CSIRO with the
    assistance of industry partners. The HydroDec Technology is a technology for the
    refurbishment of dielectric fluids (in particular used transformer oil), and/or the
    dechlorination of chlorinated hydrocarbons specifically and the dehalogination of
    polyhalogenated hydrocarbons more generally. The Technology is unique in its
    ability to fully refurbish spent dielectric oils and at the same time completely remove
    PCB contamination. It is virtually a zero emission process that allows for greater
    than 99% recycling of spent dielectric oil to new dielectric oil.
    This addition complements the existing suite of Virotec’s technologies as it is an
    effective treatment of organic contaminants that are unable to be treated by the
    Bauxsol™ Technology. In line with Virotec’s strategic plan, it will seek a suitable
    partner to assist in the marketing of this technology.
    Research and Development Agreement with Sugar Research Limited
    In March 2003, Virotec signed a Research and Development Agreement with the
    Sugar Research Institute (SRI). This Agreement allows SRI, based in Mackay,
    Queensland, to jointly conduct research into a number of areas which may have
    commercial value to the sugarcane processing, refining and other sectors of the
    sugar industry. The signing of this agreement follows successful research conducted
    by the SRI using a variety of Bauxsol™ blends to demineralise and decolour clarified
    juice and refinery liquor. This is a further example of the platform nature of the
    Bauxsol™ Technology.

    Agreement with South Eastern Link Pty Ltd
    In April 2003 Virotec signed a marketing agreement with South Eastern Link to
    market the products and services of Virotec in Indonesia.
    Attendance at Conferences
    To assist Virotec in achieving even greater international recognition for its
    Technologies, the Company has become more actively involved in delivering papers
    and presentations at key conferences. Of particular note are:
    · Professor David McConchie will speak at the CIM Mining Conference
    Exhibition to be held in Montreal, Canada in May 2003. A paper titled “The
    use of Bauxsol™ technology in mine site management and remediation” will
    be presented. Professor McConchie also delivered a paper titled “The use of
    industrial mineral additives to enhance the performance of Bauxsol-based
    environmental remediation reagents “to the Australian Industrial Minerals
    Conference in March 2003.
    · Virotec’s European representatives Dr. William Prast and Paul Gazzard were
    invited to speak at a conference on dam safety held by the Finnish
    Environment Institute SYKE, in April in Helsinki. The conference included
    more than 20 presentations by Finnish representatives from national and local
    government, as well as from large Finnish industrial corporations. Virotec
    International was the only non-Finnish company to be asked to speak at the
    meeting. It was an opportunity to present the significant achievements
    recorded in Portugal, and to identify opportunities for similar project
    assignments in Finland and other Nordic countries.
    · Dr. Lee Fergusson presented papers on Virotec’s municipal and industrial
    wastewater treatment sludge management applications to the largest
    chemical treatment conference in South-East Asia, “ChemTech 2003”, held in
    Mumbai, India in January 2003, and to a peak industry conference “TechCon
    2003” held in Mumbai during the same month.
    · Virotec has previously presented papers at the 6th International Alumina
    Quality Workshop and the 5th International Acid Sulphate Soils Conference,
    both in late 2002.
    Website Upgrade
    Virotec has recently made significant changes to its website, which can be found at
    www.virotec.com such that it now includes additional information regarding its
    technologies, reagents, research and development, and commercialisation activities.
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