The grinder is being custom-built and is expected to be delivered to the company in January. Itronics says the grinder will have approximately the same throughput capacity as the company’s shredder and is expected to “significantly increase the capacity for producing ground circuit board scrap for refining while significantly reducing the cost."
Itronics says it is implementing plans to convert a room in its factory that is currently used for storage to a dedicated circuit board shredding and grinding room, i.e., an e-scrap prep room. The room will have an air cleaning and ventilation system and an electrical system to support the machine and air cleaning operations, the company says.
The diversified zinc fertilizer and silver-producing company says it plans to complete the needed improvements, move the shredder from its current location and install it in the new location, install the grinder and start up the machines in the first quarter of 2018. The shredding and grinding capacity of this new operation is expected to be sufficient to support a 50 to 100 times staged expansion of furnace refining capacity over the next three to four years, the company says.
Itronics says it is working on improving “per-melt” production of the furnaces. So far in the fourth quarter, the company says it has increased per-melt production by 35 percent. Itronics says it plans to expand per-melt production by an additional 40 percent in the second quarter 2018 after the e-scrap grinder is installed and operational.
“In 2017 the prices of copper, zinc, silver, gold and palladium have increased sharply, in some cases to multiyear highs,” Itronics says in a press release announcing the grinder purchase. “Many forecasters are predicting that gold and silver prices will significantly increase from current levels. Copper and tin are at multiyear highs. The company is now positioned to benefit significantly as silver bullion production is expanded and these metal prices continue to increase.”
Through its subsidiary Itronics Metallurgical Inc., Itronics says it is the only company with a fully permitted “beneficial use photochemical, silver and water recycling” plant in the United States that converts 100 percent of spent photoliquids into Gold’n Gro liquid fertilizers, silver bullion and silver bearing glass. The company is developing a portfolio of environmentally beneficial zero waste processing and mining technologies.