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Itronics Inc., a diversified zinc fertilizer and silver producing green technology company, has started silver bullion production using e-scrap (ground up computer circuit boards) as a “cost reducing” precious metal bearing raw material.

E-scrap is readily available in large quantities, creating the opportunity to expand the breakthrough recovery operation in phases to a meaningful commercial scale.

“Bullion sales from this process will begin to generate revenues for Itronics early in the third quarter. The new revenue stream will be coming on line when seasonal fertilizer sales are declining. The drought in California has ended. GOLD’n GRO fertilizer sales are increasing above expectations there and the new silver bullion revenue stream will provide a welcome addition to revenues in the second half of this year,” said Dr. John Whitney, Itronics president.

Itronics has done more than 20 test melts using one of its large furnaces and this generated part of the bullion shipped early this year and has subsequently produced several hundred ounces of bullion not yet shipped. The test melts have been working well so the company has put its second large melting furnace into operation. Itronics is now operating both furnaces and is establishing an operating schedule for bullion production. Current silver bullion production is approximately 1,500 troy ounces per month.

Process optimization is continuing and further furnace operation improvements are being identified and implemented as part of the process into continuous operation. Between January and mid-April the “per melt” production tripled, from 500 to 1500 ounces per month. The Company believes that improvements over the next several months could increase “per melt” recoveries by another 20 to 50 percent. Under the Company’s bullion sales agreement, the elapsed time between shipment and payment is approximately 60 days. Silver bullion shipped in the second quarter will be reported in the third quarter sales results.

Using e-scrap as a raw material represents a new “zero waste” technology for Itronics and is expected to significantly increase both the profitability of the silver recovery operation and the company’s revenues. Because of the “cost reducing” characteristics of this breakthrough silver recovery technology, the company believes that the silver bullion production segment has the potential to become the stable non-seasonal cash flow generating revenue stream that Itronics has been seeking. “Base and precious metals prices are expected to continue to increase, so adding gold, palladium, and copper to the sales mix will expand and stabilize revenues as the silver recovery operation expands,” Dr. Whitney explained.

With the new process, e-scrap is completely converted to green energy and saleable goods. The breakthrough metal recovery concept uses the silver from photographic liquids to collect the metals contained in the e-scrap into saleable bullion. A novel aspect of this breakthrough technology is that the company uses the measured composition of several different raw materials, including e-scrap, plus fluxes, to formulate and produce a new chemical composition of glass that is able to reject all of the base and precious metals recovered from the e-scrap into the silver bullion, except for a very small amount of silver and copper which remains in the copper-silver glass produced by the process. In terms of operations, the new process is a glass manufacturing operation that produces silver bullion as a by-product. In terms of value, the silver bullion is the main value and the glass is presently a byproduct value.

Published in the September 2017 Edition of American Recycler News