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Itronics Silver-Iron-Zinc-Sulfur Leach Process to Increase Silver Refining Capacity Up to 10 Times and Reduce Costs by Up to 90 Percent


Itronics Inc.

2008-07-25 04:00:00

Itronics Silver-Iron-Zinc-Sulfur Leach Process to Increase Silver Refining Capacity Up to 10 Times and Reduce Costs by Up to 90 Percent

RENO, NV–(EMWNews – July 25, 2008) – Itronics Inc. (OTCBB: ITRO) (FRANKFURT: ITG)

(BERLIN: ITG) today reported that its wholly owned subsidiary, Itronics

Metallurgical, Inc., has completed pilot leach tests which show that its

new process will increase per melt refining capacity by up to 10 times and

reduce per ounce refining cost up to 90 percent.

Itronics Metallurgical has been working on this process for several years

and described the technology in press releases dated November 6, 2007 and

December 11, 2007. The silver-iron-zinc-sulfur concentrate is produced by

the Itronics Metallurgical photoliquid demetallization process. The

concentrate is dried and sent to the refinery for silver recovery,

refining, and sale. The concentrate has a relatively low silver content in

relation to the iron and sulfur. Presently some of the iron and zinc goes

into a glass slag and some of the iron and zinc combines with the sulfur to

form an “iron matte,” which has some silver in it and which must be

reprocessed to recover the remaining silver.

The purpose of the new technology is to remove the iron, zinc, and the

sulfur from the concentrate to reduce the amount of concentrate sent to the

refinery, and to reduce the amount of glass slag and iron matte produced by

the refinery. The expected financial benefits of the process are to: (1)

increase per melt silver refining capacity by up to 10 times with no

increase in per melt cost by reducing the amount of silver concentrate sent

to the refinery by up to 90 percent; (2) reduce waste by producing an

iron-zinc bearing liquid (Itromet FeLix Process), and a sulfur bearing

liquid (Itromet SuLix Process) that can be used as a raw material in GOLD’n

GRO fertilizers.

Small pilot scale leaching tests conducted in the first half of 2008 are

producing a recovery of iron and zinc of more than 85 percent and up to 90

percent of the contained sulfur. The bulk volume of the residual silver

bearing solids is reduced by up to 90 percent. The residual solids contain

all of the silver along with other non-nutrient impurities. With a 90

percent reduction in bulk volume, the melting furnace will now be able to

produce up to 10 times more silver with each melt, at no increase in cost.

The other positive outcome is that the iron, zinc, and sulfur content in

the produced liquids is high enough to work well for GOLD’n GRO fertilizer

manufacturing. This will help stabilize some of our fertilizer raw

material costs once it is implemented.

“We are excited by this positive outcome of this clean technology

development,” said Dr. John Whitney, Itronics’ President. “We are working

on the leach plant design, preparing a capital budget, and a construction

schedule. We project the leach plant can be built within six months after

obtaining capital funding.”

Itronics Metallurgical has identified several 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:

--  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 hauling is not required.  Both iron and silver

    would be recovered.  This is a large source of iron and photo silver.

--  Processing the cores of non-mercury bearing silver batteries to recover

    zinc and silver.

--  Processing the cores of non-mercury bearing alkaline batteries to

    recover zinc and manganese.

--  Processing flue dusts produced by steel mills to recover zinc and iron.

    This is a potentially large future use.

--  Processing of concentrates produced by certain silver-zinc mines.

    While this would require more application development work to match the

    processes to specific concentrates, its potential is huge.


“Itronics Metallurgical is frequently asked if it can accept and process

steel wool cartridges. This category of silver-bearing photographic waste

has not been accepted because of the narrow profit margins available. The

same is true for non-mercury bearing silver battery cores. The new

technology is cost reducing and eliminates waste by producing fertilizer

raw materials, making it economically attractive. We have already

conducted laboratory and pilot tests that have validated that the process

will work on these materials,” said President Dr. John Whitney.

On-going clean process technology developments are establishing the basis

for continuing long term growth. Itronics’ continuing expansion is a result

of years of research and development that has made its innovative

vertically integrated photochemical recycling technology that completely

converts the waste stream to pure silver, and its high quality GOLD’n GRO

brand of environmentally compatible fertilizers a success. GOLD’n GRO

Guardian Deer Repellent is a direct extension of the GOLD’n GRO technology

and opens up a large new market segment for the Company’s products.

About Itronics

Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, Itronics Inc. is a “Creative Environmental

Technology” company. 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 can convert used

photoliquids into pure silver and GOLD’n GRO liquid fertilizers. The

Company also provides environmentally compatible mining technology

development, project planning, and technical services to the gold mining

industry and operates the popular web site,, 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 compatible recycling and fertilizer


The Company’s environmentally friendly GOLD’n GRO liquid fertilizers can be

used for lawns and houseplants, and are available, along with liquid

fertilizer injectors, at the Company’s “e-store” catalog at The popular Silver Nevada Miner bars are available at

the Company’s “e-store” catalog at


(“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.)

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