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Itronics acquires option to purchase manufacturing facility in Nevada

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World Fertilizer,

Itronics Inc. has announced that it has acquired a six-month option to purchase a manufacturing facility in Wabuska, Nevada, US. The option can be extended by an additional six months if necessary.

John Whitney, President, said: “This is a long-term strategic site acquisition for commercial expansion of Itronics' unique portfolio of 'Zero Waste Technologies’.”

Primary among these technologies are the new hydrometallurgical processes for leaching iron (FeLix Process), zinc (ZinLix Process) and sulfur (SuLix Process) for use in the production of GOLD’n GRO micronutrient fertilizers and high silver content concentrates for e-scrap refining.

In the statement, the company claims that it does not have sufficient room at its manufacturing facility in Reno to set up and operate complete prototype processing circuits to develop engineering data to support construction of commercial scale operating units. The facility in Wabuska will provide enough space to expand and continue developing these technologies to large commercial scale.

Itronics claims that one of its main priorities is to perform the pilot scale testing using the ZinLix process to convert zinc flu dust to provide a low cost source of Zinc for GOLD’n GRO zinc micronutrient fertilizer manufacturing, the ability to ship these fertilizers in bulk by rail throughout the US and to produce zinc and bypoduct metals including silver and gold. The other application that will be a high priority is to expand the FeLix and SuLix processes to handle large quantities of precious metal bearing precipitates that will be produced by commercial use of the KAM-Thio technology at silver/gold mine sites. The silver recovered from these precipitates will be used to support expansion of e-scrap refining. The Wabuska site is suitable for installation of a large commercial scale e-scrap processing operation and for installation of operations to refine precious metals and base metals recovered at a scale required by the processing and recycling operations.

Itronics claims that the site is already zoned for fertilizer and chemical manufacturing, and foundry and special use permits will be required for specific operations. The facility is on 48 acres, and includes five buildings with 54 000 ft2 under roof. It also has six dry product silos and two vertical liquid tanks, and is adjacent to a rail siding. Zinc flue dusts are fine powders and can delivered in rail hopper cars and stored in the product silos. The product silos are fully equipped, including a conveyor system to transport the zinc flue dust powder into one of the existing buildings on site.

The exclusive purchase option also includes over eight acre feet of water rights. There are two water wells on the site along with a lined fresh water pond, and a lined process water pond for which the permits are active. Site infrastructure includes electric power and natural gas.

The Wabuska site is located approximately 75 miles southeast of Reno, and is approximately 12 miles north of Yerington, Nevada, on the north side of the Yerington copper mining district, with its large undeveloped copper deposits, and is approximately 10 miles east of the company’s Fulstone copper, zinc, silver, gold, iron and industrial mineral exploration property.

Whitney said: “The Wabuska site is strategically located and is already configured and zoned for uses that are a perfect fit for expansion of Itronics breakthrough 'Zero Waste' technologies at commercial scale.

“We are pleased that the seller has been willing to work with Itronics to make this US$1.6 million purchase option possible. We are also pleased and excited to be able to expand our technology operations at commercial scale at a highly desirable strategic location in northern Nevada.”

Itronics plans to use the exclusive option period to complete validation of water rights, special use permit requirements, and other regulatory issues that will need to be assumed with purchase of the property. The company will also begin detailed planning for occupying the property within a period that will be defined in part by special use permit requirements and the elapsed time required to obtain such permits.

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