http://www.itronics.com () —
Itronics Inc. (PINKSHEETS: ITRO) reported today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Itronics Metallurgical, Inc., has begun start up of its Stage I silver refinery expansion which should increase silver refining capacity by 10 times, with sales capacity increasing from $440,000 to $4.4 million at current silver prices.
"The start up of the Stage I leaching circuit is underway," said Dr. John Whitney, Itronics President. "Getting this revolutionary new technology operation launched represents a major milestone for the Company."
The Stage I expansion will increase 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 $18.50 per ounce, annual silver bullion sales capacity would increase from $440,000 to more than $4 million.
Silver output is expected to increase as GOLD'n GRO liquid fertilizer sales increase, and from utilization of new silver-bearing raw material feed sources made possible by the revolutionary new FeLix and SuLix leaching technology developed by Itronics.
The Company will now focus on integrating the new unit operation fully into its overall operations and on expanding silver output.
Itronics Metallurgical has identified two other potential applications where the FeLix and SuLix processes could reduce processing costs and reduce waste by profitably converting material presently being wasted into commercial products. These important silver-bearing materials are:
1. 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 off site 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. The Company has business linkages in place that will make it possible to source these materials in desired quantities when it is appropriate for the Company to do so. 2. 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 get adopted, then there will be a large increase in zinc silver battery usage world-wide and an associated need for zinc silver battery recycling services.
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 (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 (http://goldngro.com) . The popular Silver Nevada Miner bars are available at the Company's "e-store" catalog at http://www.itromet.com (http://www.itromet.com) .
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("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.)