United States – Itronics Inc. has started silver bullion production using ground up computer circuit boards as a ‘cost reducing’ precious metal bearing raw material. ‘E-scrap is readily available in large quantities, creating the opportunity to expand the breakthrough recovery operation in phases to a meaningful commercial scale,’ so says the zinc fertiliser and silver producing green technology company.
With the new process, e-scrap is ‘completely converted’ to sustainable energy and saleable goods.
The innovative metal recovery concept uses the silver from photographic liquids to collect the metals contained in the e-scrap into saleable bullion.
Itronics has done more than 20 test melts using one of its large furnaces and this generated part of the bullion shipped early this year and has subsequently produced several hundred ounces of bullion not yet shipped.
The test melts have been working well so Itronics is now operating two furnaces and is establishing an operating schedule for bullion production. ‘Current silver bullion production is approximately 1500 troy ounces per month,’ it is added.
Process optimisation is continuing, according to Itronics. It claims that, between January and mid-April, the per melt production tripled, from 500 to 1500 ounces per month. Over the next several months, "per melt" recoveries could surge another 20%, or even 50%.
Itronics points out that this ‘breakthrough technology’ uses the measured composition of several different raw materials, including e-scrap, plus fluxes, to formulate and produce a new chemical composition of glass that is able to reject all of the base and precious metals recovered from the e-scrap into the silver bullion – except for a very small amount of silver and copper which remains in the copper-silver glass produced by the process.
‘Base and precious metals prices are expected to continue to increase, so adding gold, palladium, and copper to the sales mix will expand and stabilise revenues as the silver recovery operation expands,’ comments Itronics ceo Dr. John Whitney.