Itronics Positioned To Benefit From Historic High And Rising Gold Prices


(MENAFN- GlobeNewsWire - Nasdaq) RENO, NV, April 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NewMediaWire – Itronics Inc. (“Itronics” or the“Company”) (OTC:ITRO), the Cleantech“Zero Waste Energy Saving” Technology company that produces GOLD'n GRO fertilizers and silver, today communicated to its investors why historically high and rising gold prices will benefit the Company.

Gold, silver, and other precious metals have made a sustained push toward historically high prices over the last several months. These increases in price include gold prices that have soared to well over $2,000 per troy ounce, and silver prices that have risen to levels well above $25 per troy ounce. Based on current market conditions, all indications point toward the current increase in prices continuing for the foreseeable future.

This makes Companies that are developing novel technologies to improve metal recovery incredibly important, so that the additional value as a result of the historically high prices can be fully realized. Itronics believes that the technologies it has been developing can provide investors exposure to increased metals prices through its positioning as a critical part of the equation: being the Company that possesses technology that can recover and generate the most value.

Historically, Itronics, through its wholly-owned technical services subsidiary Whitney & Whitney, Inc., has been instrumental in developing heap leach gold/silver mining technologies dating back to the late 1970s and 1980s, utilizing cyanide chemistry for metal recovery. The Company has since evolved, focusing on silver recovery methods without the use of cyanide and more recently branching into non-cyanide based gold recovery technologies.

Itronics is currently engaged in three significant technology areas enhancing non-cyanide gold recovery, alongside a technique to improve cyanide-based heap leach gold recovery processes. The Company's mineral property, the Auric Gold & Minerals Fulstone project, is expected to become a major gold copper polymetallic project, with gold content expected to be a major value based on new discoveries that have been made at the site.

Itronics outlines its non-cyanide gold recovery technologies and emphasizes the environmental safety of its Rock Kleen chemistry, which neutralizes cyanide, thereby ensuring the eco-friendly application of cyanide in conjunction with the Rock Kleen technology. Thus, we can improve the efficiency of cyanide use and make it environmentally safe at the same time.

1. Printed Circuit Board Refining: Itronics plans to restart pilot scale circuit board refining operations during 2024, capitalizing on the rising gold and silver prices that are expected to boost the economics of the refining operation.

Itronics has a technological advantage in printed circuit board refining due to its ability to recover the tin used in the solder on the boards. The tin is worth almost as much as the copper. The Company also has a geographic advantage being based in Reno, Nevada, in the western United States. California has historically been a major source of this scrap, but with all the new factories being built, Arizona is becoming more important as well. Since most printed circuit board scrap is exported to Europe and Japan for recovery by copper smelters, Itronics' location in western Nevada is a much shorter shipping distance. Transportation cost savings, shorter transit time, and more rapid turnaround on processing provide important financial savings on a large scale.

The timing for restarting and expanding this operation is opportunistic due to the historic increases in the price of gold, combined with the forecasted increases in silver prices for 2024 and beyond. These price increases will improve the economics of our refining operations. The Company plans to form a refining subsidiary and license related Intellectual Property and assets to the new subsidiary.

2. Itronics' Leaching Technologies for zinc, iron, and manganese recovery from flue dusts and battery black mass produce an unexpected, and exciting outcome. Removal of the major metal components from these materials, which often contain small amounts of gold and silver, concentrates the gold and silver in the leach residues. These leach residues can be processed by becoming an ingredient in the circuit board refining chemistry, which helps achieve the nearly complete recovery of gold and silver from the circuit boards. This is an Itronics technology advantage that provides a measurable economic benefit and increases the significance of rising gold and silver prices.

Around the world, zinc smelting residues are produced that are very high in iron content with measurable zinc and often measurable gold and silver that may be amenable to metal recovery using Itronics' leaching technologies. Some of these residues are stored in tailings ponds. Itronics plans to test these zinc smelting residues in the future due to the metal values involved. The likelihood of success is high because of how the Itronics leaching chemistry works. The gold and silver values in these materials can be quite high. A major advantage is the potential ability to process the gold and silver-rich leach residues using the printed circuit board refining technology, ensuring nearly complete recovery of these metals. Increasing gold and silver prices enhance recovery economics, making it more likely that this technology can be commercially developed to serve this specialized market.

3.Itronics Rock Kleen Technology specifically increases gold and silver recovery from gold/silver mine tailings. Testing on selected tailing materials has shown that recoveries of these residual precious metals can approach or exceed 90 percent. In comparison, conventional cyanide leaching technology may only recover between 20 and 30 percent. Increased silver and gold prices make this extra recovery percentage much more valuable, enhancing Rock Kleen Technology's economics. When improved metal recoveries and value are combined with the potential ability to clean and sell the mineral components of the gold/silver mine tailings, the recovery economics become very attractive.

During 2023, numerous articles were published about an emerging global shortage of sand suitable for making concrete and other construction purposes. Gold and silver mining is a global activity, making it possible to match Rock Kleen tailings recovery operations to markets with construction sand shortages. The rapidly rising gold price and the potential for a significant increase in silver prices are expected to improve the economic attractiveness of this new technology, which Itronics is the pioneer in.

4. High Strength Cyanide Agglomeration Technology (HiSCAT): Itronics' proprietary specialized cyanide agglomeration technology developed by Whitney & Whitney, Inc. in the mid-1980s, when combined with the Company's specialized knowledge related to improved fertilizer nutrient transfer in soils, can be beneficial for gold/silver heap leach operations dealing with high clay content ores. This combined knowledge, forming new Intellectual Property, can potentially increase the amount of gold and silver that can be recovered and significantly speed up recovery. This technology was successfully used in the mid-1980s at a Nevada gold mine with more than 90 percent clay-by-weight ore and has the potential to work even better than it did previously.

With the sheer tonnage of production at operating mines, any gold/silver recovery improvements on a per ton basis could be quite valuable to operating gold mines. When combined with rising gold and silver prices, these improvements could result in tens of thousands of dollars worth of additional revenue per day. Discussions about this were held with three companies in late 2023, underscoring the growing demand for improving recovery from high clay content ore. Itronics anticipates having further discussions in 2024, potentially leading to one or more new projects with active gold/silver mining companies. The anticipated market demand for this innovative technology is substantial, addressing the common challenges faced by gold cyanide heap leach mines with clay-rich ore deposits.

5. Auric Gold & Minerals, Inc.: Itronics owns an approximately 66 percent interest in Auric Gold & Minerals, Inc. (Auric) through its wholly owned technical services subsidiary, Whitney & Whitney, Inc. Auric controls a large mineral land package consisting of 148 lode mining claims (almost 3,000 acres) called the Auric Fulstone Project in the Yerington Mining District, near Yerington, Nevada. Two significant prospects have been identified: the“Golden Valley Prospect” and the“Silver Ridge Prospect” alongside a mine tailings resource estimated at 557,000 tons that testing has shown to be recoverable using Rock Kleen Technology. As a result of the testing, it has been estimated that these tailings, if processed using the Rock Kleen Technology, could generate around $50.00 per ton in gross value, making this a substantial asset for the project. The estimated value per ton is set to increase as metals prices increase, making this a prime example of the value that is generated for a project through the maximization of metals recovery.

The United States Geological Survey recognizes the Yerington Mining District as:“one of the giant copper porphyry-related metal camps in the world”. Auric Fulstone presents a unique site within the district with potential for substantial gold, silver, zinc, and lead to accompany copper, making Auric Fulstone a true“polymetallic” gold and copper occurrence.

One of the copper deposits in the Yerington District is the Mason Project, touted by its owner Hudbay Minerals as one of the largest undeveloped copper deposits in North America. The south boundary of the Auric Fulstone claim block is the north boundary of the Hudbay Minerals claim block for the Mason Project. The Auric Fulstone project is also adjacent to the former operating Minnesota Iron Mine which was originally developed as a copper mine in the early 1900s. History has shown that one of the best locations to find a new mine is near a former mine. So, the Auric Fulstone project is in a very prospective neighborhood that is known for its extra-large copper deposits.

In the early 1970's one hole was drilled near the Golden Valley Prospect, which had 80 feet of 0.4 percent copper about 400 feet below the ground surface. Other metals were not measured at that time. Geology, geophysics, and geochemistry studies indicate a high probability for the occurrence of one or more large copper deposits on the property with associated gold, silver, zinc, and lead. High values of these metals have been measured by surface sampling and sampling has shown that mineralization at the two prospects starts at the surface. These are, technically, new discoveries. The Golden Valley Prospect is interpreted as an epithermal gold deposit that overprints older copper mineralization accompanied by silver, zinc, and lead mineralization. The Company believes that in the Yerington Mining District, high gold, silver, zinc, and lead values associated with copper is only being found in the Auric Fulstone project area. These metals provide a major added per ton value compared to the other copper deposits in the district.

Itronics believes that applying its pioneering Rock Kleen gold/silver recovery technologies to the Auric Fulstone resource will significantly enhance shareholder value, including its own stake via Whitney & Whitney. As resource evaluation progresses and metals prices rise, the project's valuation will continually enhance shareholder value, particularly from rising metals prices.

“By leveraging its ability to maximize the recovery of value from metals resources, Itronics, its clients, and its investors stand to benefit greatly by the historic rise in gold prices,” said Itronics President Dr. John Whitney. “This is a historic time and could change Itronics in positive ways going forward due to the technologies and values involved. Itronics management foresaw the appreciation of precious metals prices and has worked diligently to position the Company and its technologies to benefit from the increase in prices.”

“We thank our investors for their patience during the years of Research & Development, the culmination of many years of technological development and advancement has allowed us to be well positioned to take advantage of favorable market conditions. Simply stated, Itronics possesses superior metals recovery technology that gives the Company an advantage over anything else currently available. This advantage allows Itronics to maximize the value of its own metals recovery projects, as well as provide its clients an opportunity to benefit from cutting edge clean technology, increasing their returns while operating in an environmentally friendly manner,” concluded Dr. John Whitney.

About Itronics

Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, Itronics Inc. is a“Zero Waste Energy Saving Technology” Company that produces GOLD'n GRO multi-nutrient liquid fertilizers, silver bullion, and silver-bearing glass. The Company's environmentally friendly award winning GOLD'n GRO liquid fertilizers are used extensively in agriculture in California.

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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.)


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