The company says it continues to expand silver bullion production using e-scrap—ground computer circuit boards—as a “cost reducing” precious-metals-bearing raw material. Per-melt silver bullion production has been increased by 24 percent because of process improvements that have been made since May 2017 and is on track to increase 11 percent for a total of 35 percent by year-end, according to the company.
Itronics says it is now conducting a third refining campaign to produce its third silver bullion shipment this year. This bullion shipment is expected to be settled in the first quarter of 2018, according to the company. The pilot-scale refining is ongoing and is regularly producing silver bullion and silver-bearing glass, which are being sold, the company says. This production is nonseasonal and will stabilize Itronics’ sales as production expands.
Itronics says it also has made a shipment of silver-bearing matte and a second shipment of silver-bearing glass to its refiner this quarter. The company says it expects the matte shipment to settle before year-end. It expects the glass shipment to be settled either by the end of December 2017 or in early January 2018. These shipments are from inventory generated during prior years by test refining to develop the breakthrough refining process. Sales generated by the shipments that are settled in the fourth quarter will be reported as part of fourth quarter sales and will significantly contribute to continued expansion of silver sales, which has been underway this year, Itronics explains.
Improvements to the refining operation are being made to further increase per-melt production from the furnaces by another 11 percent for a total of 35 percent in the fourth quarter, the company says. Plans are being implemented to further expand per-melt production by an additional 40 percent in the second quarter 2018 by adding an e-scrap grinder to the operation. The company says further production expansion using the existing furnaces will be achievable as more operating experience is gained.
“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. “Many forecasters are predicting that gold and silver prices will significantly increase from current levels. Copper and tin are at multiyear highs. Itronics is now positioned to benefit significantly as production is expanded and these metal prices continue to increase.”
Itronics says it “is aggressively advancing development of its sustainability maximizing portfolio of new zero waste technologies whose objective is to create new nonseasonal lines of business using the company’s core technologies. The focus of the hydromet and pyromet technology extensions is on expanding pilot scale refining of materials that contain silver and other precious metals, along with zinc and other base metals. Development of the KAM-Thio cyanide remediation and silver/gold recovery technology is underway and is progressing rapidly.”
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.