SOURCE: AXcess News

October 01, 2007 11:00 ET

AXcess News: Meridian Gold Ends Era for Nevada; Now the Clean Up Begins

RENO, NV--(Marketwire - October 1, 2007) - With Reno-based Meridian Gold finally agreeing to sellout to Canada's Yamana Gold, the 'big brand' precious metals company was one of the last Nevada-based miners to hold out, but the State's mineral holdings are still vast and even larger are the millions of yards of tailings that remain an environmental nightmare.

Enter, Itronics Inc. (OTCBB: ITRO), who last week announced what may be the largest breakthrough in mining in decades.

The Reno-based enviro-ag maker of liquid fertilizers sold under the GOLD'n GRO label uses a proprietary process to remove heavy metals from photochemicals that according to Itronics founder, Dr. John Whitney, can be used to replace cyanide which is currently used in mining operations.

Itronics announced the formation of a subsidiary to commercially develop the photochemical based thiosulfate technology. Itronics' new technology is expected to be used for mineral extraction, including mine tailings, and reclamation of heap leach operations.

The Company's Reno plant is the only facility in the United States approved by the EPA to extract heavy metals from photochemicals, but in a telephone interview Thursday, Dr. Whitney explained that additional environmental applications were required before Itronics could process any ore, saying regulatory approval would be needed before any meaningful quantities could be handled at the Company's plant.

Dr. Whitney said that joint venture partners were likely in developing a commercially viable plant using Itronics' technology to recover the heavy metals instead of cyanide heap leach processes.

"We believe that industry wants and needs the technologies Itronics will bring to the marketplace," said Dr. Whitney. "There is a significant need."

Itronics founder couldn't put a figure on just how much gold, silver and copper could be recovered from the vast amount of tailings in Nevada, but indicated that levels could be staggering. "The process is cost-effective to use," explained Dr. Whitney.

Dr. Whitney explained that Itronics' process was economical when compared to conventional heap leaching and that the volume of metal recovery should be greater, though he stopped short of giving estimates.

Itronics' founder said in the September 25, 2007 announcement that, "A major component of the photochemical wastes we turn into environmentally beneficial fertilizers is able to completely detoxify and eliminate cyanide, which is the main ingredient used to extract gold and silver out of low-grade ore. The mining industry has long sought a way to make this process environmentally benign."

Note to Editors: "News Features" are stories provided to publishers copyright-free for print or online display at no charge. All we ask is that publishers include our byline (AXcess News) as the source, and a link to our Web site: If you are interested in displaying our news on a regular basis, please contact our editorial department at: 502-868-9007.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Eric Stevenson