SOURCE: Itronics Inc.

Itronics Inc.

July 14, 2010 12:54 ET

Itronics Stage I Silver Refinery Expansion to Increase Refining Capacity by 10 Times on Track for August Start Up

Itronics Green Recycling Technology Is Expanding Growth Opportunities

RENO, NV--(Marketwire - July 14, 2010) -  Itronics Inc. (PINKSHEETS: ITROD) reported today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Itronics Metallurgical, Inc., has scheduled its Stage I silver refinery expansion for start up in August 2010. The expansion was originally announced in October 2009 and plans were updated in January of this year.

"The price of silver has risen from under five dollars per ounce in 2000 to prices that have topped more than $20 per ounce in recent time periods. We see continued strengthening in the price of silver. To be able to recover more of this valuable commodity more efficiently is very important for our future," said Dr. John Whitney, Itronics President. Part of the Stage I leaching circuit is already operational utilizing the Company's new, revolutionary FeLix and SuLix leaching processes. "We are pleased by the progress being made to advance this expansion project and once operational, this revolutionary technology will increase profitability and open up new pathways to growth," Dr. Whitney said.

In a press release issued in November 2008 Itronics announced plans for expansion of its silver refining capacity in two stages from 24,000 ounces per year to 2.4 million ounces per year. The Stage I expansion will increase the silver refining capacity to 240,000 ounces per year by increasing the per melt capacity of the refining operation by 10 times with no increase in per melt cost. This produces a 90 percent decrease of the per melt cost of each ounce of silver produced. At current silver prices of $17.50 per ounce, annual silver bullion sales capacity would increase from $420,000 to $4 million. At a sales level of 2.4 million troy ounces of silver per year, sales capacity would rise to $42 million per year.

"The increase in per melt capacity will be more than sufficient to accommodate intermediate term GOLD'n GRO fertilizer sales growth, and will also provide the capacity for acquisition of new silver-bearing raw materials to further expand growth. Once the Stage I leach circuit is operational, silver bullion output is expected to double due to an immediate increase in the total amount and the percentage of silver recovered in each melt," Dr. Whitney explained.

The Stage 1 refinery expansion will also produce two new fertilizer raw materials as byproducts, which are expected to improve GOLD'n GRO fertilizer quality and profitability by replacing fertilizer ingredients which are presently purchased from outside suppliers. 

Itronics Metallurgical has identified several other potential applications where the FeLix and SuLix processes could reduce both processing costs and waste by profitably converting material presently being wasted into commercial products. Two of the most important silver-bearing materials are:

  • Processing steel wool (ion exchange) cartridges which are widely used in the United States to perform on site silver removal from photographic liquids at user sites where silver-bearing photoliquids hauling is not required. Both iron and silver would be recovered. This is a large source of iron and photo silver with millions of ounces of silver being recovered annually in these cartridges in the United States.
  • Processing the cores of non-mercury bearing silver batteries to recover potassium, zinc, and silver. Zinc silver batteries are primarily used in military and space applications, but some new technology zinc silver batteries are being developed for use in portable computers. If these new technologies are adopted, there will be a large increase in zinc silver battery usage worldwide and an associated need for zinc silver battery recycling services.

Itronics Metallurgical has revised its process flow sheet to utilize separate leach reactors that will be dedicated to processing each new category of silver-bearing materials. Using this approach makes it possible to establish new raw material sources and partially diversify silver output away from its current reliance on silver-bearing photographic liquids as source materials. This also establishes a new operating platform for generating growth in silver output and fertilizer raw materials. 

This refining technology development completes another step in Itronics' implementation of its five year plan to use internally developed environmentally green clean technology to produce solid profitable growth. This focused approach to the development and use of creative new clean technology has made the vertically integrated "Beneficial Use Photochemical, Silver, and Water Recycling" technology and the GOLD'n GRO brand of "award winning," environmentally friendly fertilizers a success. Itronics' revolutionary technologies create a "Green Consumer Option" for photo and x-ray processors that continue to use silver halide photo technologies to make prints and x-rays.

About Itronics

Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, Itronics is a Cleantech Specialty Fertilizer and Silver Company that produces the Award Winning GOLD'n GRO liquid fertilizers and pure silver bullion. Itronics, through its subsidiary, Itronics Metallurgical, Inc., is the only company with a fully permitted "Beneficial Use photochemical, Silver, and Water Recycling" plant in the United States that converts spent photoliquids into pure silver and GOLD'n GRO liquid fertilizers. The Company is developing environmentally compatible mining technology, provides project planning and technical services to the gold mining industry, and operates the popular InsideMetals.com web site, http://www.insidemetals.com, which provides a value-added WORLD VIEW of Gold Producer Stocks, Mineral Producer Stocks, Junior Gold Stocks, and Junior Mineral Stocks.

Itronics has received numerous domestic and international awards that recognize its ability to successfully create and implement new environmentally clean recycling and fertilizer technologies.

The Company's environmentally friendly GOLD'n GRO liquid fertilizers, which are extensively used in agriculture, can be used for lawns and houseplants, and are available, along with liquid fertilizer injectors, at the Company's "e-store" catalog at http://goldngro.com. The popular Silver Nevada Miner bars are available at the Company's "e-store" catalog at http://www.itromet.com.

VISIT OUR WEB SITE: http://www.itronics.com

("Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains or may contain forward-looking statements such as statements regarding the Company's growth and profitability, growth strategy, liquidity and access to public markets, operating expense reduction, and trends in the industry in which the Company operates. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those more fully described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changes in risks, uncertainties or assumptions underlying or affecting such statements, or for prospective events that may have a retroactive effect.)

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Paul Knopick
    888-795-6336