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Itronics Inc., an emerging 'Cleantech Materials' growth Company that manufactures GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilizers and produces silver, zinc, and critical and battery minerals recovered from industrial and mining waste, reported it has continued to adjust its planning to transform Itronics into a fully integrated Cleantech Materials Company whose future growth is expected to be strongly driven by the new Rock Kleen technology it is introducing.
After carefully studying the results of testing performed on silver/gold mine tailings, Itronics has recognized that the Rock Kleen Technology is able to recover metals, minerals, and nutrient materials from tailings generated by different types of mines. These now include silver/gold mines, copper mines, and certain iron mines. Such mines often have geochemical and mineralogical similarities and are frequently in similar rock types.
Itronics' subsidiary, Auric Gold & Minerals, has an iron mine tailings impoundment on the Auric Fulstone claim block adjacent to the formerly operating Minnesota Iron Mine in the Yerington mining district in Nevada. Preliminary analysis of two indicative iron tailings samples by an independent laboratory indicate the presence of valuable minerals, which, if recoverable, would become a valuable tailings resource for Itronics. The Company has made the decision to sell these Auric controlled tailings to be used as feed materials for the proposed Itronics Rock Kleen pilot plant. Sale of these tailings after Rock Kleen processing will generate revenues for the Itronics pilot plant and for Auric Gold & Minerals through the sale of various recovered metals, industrial minerals, and construction materials. The tailings have not yet been measured, but the quantity is expected to be quite large since they were generated by iron mining that took place between 1945 and 1965.
Itronics has been operating as a holding Company with two wholly owned subsidiaries, Itronics Metallurgical, Inc. and Whitney & Whitney, Inc. Itronics Metallurgical, Inc. manufactures the award-winning line of GOLD'n GRO chelated liquid multi-nutrient fertilizers, produces silver bullion by refining discarded printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA's), and does the company's R&D. Whitney & Whitney, Inc. provides technical and administrative services for the subsidiary companies and is leading the Rock Kleen Technology development. Itronics plans to activate Auric Gold & Minerals to become a tailings supplier to the Itronics Rock Kleen pilot plant. With this addition to its business plan, Itronics will become a fully integrated operating company that will be using its pilot plant to demonstrate that Rock Kleen Processing Technology can be used to profitably turn its own mine tailings into saleable goods. Itronics will monetize the tailings by turning their contents into cash through product sales. The Company expects that this will become a profitable operation.
Itronics has developed its portfolio of Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies over the past 30 years. Itronics technological advances have been recognized by numerous international awards for Cleantech Technologies. Itronics is also recognized for advancing the Circular Economy through its technologies which produce a cleaner environment and maximize sustainability. Itronics technologies clean the environment and maximize sustainability by processing waste materials and converting 100% of these materials to salable goods. These are energy saving technologies because 100 percent re-use also saves a significant amount of energy. Itronics believes that its technology portfolio fulfills the objectives of the rapidly emerging ESG investing segment which is becoming a new investment force in the world.
Rock Kleen is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to be one of the greatest breakthroughs in mine tailings recovery processing. Billions of tons of mine tailings are produced throughout the world every year. Rock Kleen technology creates a commercial opportunity to profitably monetize mine tailings piles by turning mine tailings into saleable goods whose value exceeds the cost of processing. This is achieved by recovering or eliminating residual cyanide, nitrates, and acids, and by recovering residual metals in the mine tailings, including precious metals, base metals, and ferrous metals, plus mineral nutrients, industrial minerals, and construction materials. By targeting recovery of all the minerals in the tailings, the Company believes the value of the tailings will far exceed the value of the originally mined materials. Successful commercial development of Rock Kleen requires that a product marketing infrastructure at a meaningful scale be in place. The GOLD'n GRO fertilizers and the Printed Circuit Board Refining provide "Critical Path" marketing infrastructure that makes Rock Kleen possible. Specialty fertilizer markets take years to develop to large scale sales. It is critical to have some of these markets in place prior to starting Rock Kleen processing on a commercial scale. Nutrients recovered by specific Rock Kleen operations can be used as raw materials in specific GOLD'n GRO fertilizers for immediate sales once they are available. Itronics is currently expanding its GOLD'n GRO liquid fertilizer sales.
Similarly, the printed circuit board assembly refining operations are critical path technology to enable market access for some of the metals that will be recovered by the Rock Kleen process. Recovered metal bearing materials will be utilized as feed materials in the refining process and the metals will be recovered into the silver bullion produced by the refining process. It is critically important to have this technology operational at a suitable scale prior to starting commercial scale Rock Kleen processing. Taking this approach ensures that recovered metals can be sold when Rock Kleen processing is started. Itronics is currently operating its Printed Circuit Board Refining technology at a small pilot scale and is ready for scale-up.
An important objective of the proposed Rock Kleen Pilot Plant is to demonstrate at a small scale how the Rock Kleen Technology will perform. The pilot plant will also be used to test candidate tailings from different mining locations. The plan is to follow the pilot plant with construction of a demonstration plant that will initially utilize iron mine tailings from the Auric Fulstone project as feed materials, but that could be modified to process copper mine tailings available in the Yerington Mining District.
The overall approach to Rock Kleen commercial development that we are taking is designed to significantly reduce the start-up risk, and to greatly reduce the overall commercial risk of establishing this revolutionary technology at commercial scale.