Itronics purchases commercial-scale grinder to increase e-scrap grinding capacity

December 6, 2017 Posted by admin

Reno-based Itronics Inc. (OTC:ITRO), a diversified zinc fertilizer and silver producing green technology development company, today announced that it has arranged financing for and purchased a commercial scale e-scrap grinder for grinding shredded circuit boards (e-scrap) to feed to its refining furnaces.

The grinder, which is being custom built is expected to be delivered to the company in January. The grinder will have approximately the same throughput capacity as the company’s shredder and is expected to significantly increase the capacity for producing ground circuit board scrap for refining while significantly reducing the cost.

Itronics’ breakthrough technology uses silver to extract gold, silver, palladium, tin, and copper from e-scrap. The metals are then sold for reuse.

Itronics officials are currently implementing plans to convert one of the rooms in its factory that is presently being used for storage to a dedicated circuit board shredding and grinding room (e-scrap prep room). The room will have an air cleaning and ventilation system and a dedicated electrical system to support the machine and air cleaning operations.

They plan to complete the needed improvements, move the shredder from its current location and install it in the new location, install the grinder and start up the machines in the first quarter 2018. The shredding and grinding capacity of this new operation is expected to be sufficient to support a 50 to 100 times staged expansion of furnace refining capacity over the next 3 to 4 years.

Itronics is working on improving “per melt” production of the furnaces. So far in the fourth quarter it has increased per melt production by 35 percent. The company expects to expand per melt production by an additional 40 percent in the second quarter 2018 after the e-scrap grinder is installed and operational.

In 2017 the prices of copper, zinc, silver, gold, and palladium have increased sharply, in some cases, to multi-year highs. Many forecasters are predicting that gold and silver prices will significantly increase from current levels. Copper and tin are at multi-year highs. The company is now positioned to benefit significantly as silver bullion production is expanded and these metal prices continue to increase.

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Four major catalysts for gold

December 5, 2017 Posted by admin

Four major catalysts for gold

On Sept. 29, the August core PCE year-over-year (YoY) inflation figure was released. And the data came in exactly as I expected. YoY inflation for August was just 1.3%, down 0.6% from the January reading of 1.9%. That marked eight consecutive months of flat or lower readings.

Needless to say, the Fed is miles away from their 2.0% target. They’re actually moving consistently in the wrong direction.

Second, when the September employment report came out, a Reuters survey of economists had expected the economy to add 90,000 jobs in September.

How many did it really add?

Not zero, but less than zero. The economy shed 33,000 in September. This was the first time in seven years that the U.S. economy lost jobs.

Now, that may be partly due to the hurricanes that struck Texas and Florida.

But coming on top of the weak inflation data that also came out, it will certainly give the Fed more than enough reason to hit the “pause” button on a December rate hike.

But incredibly, markets gave a nearly 90% chance of a rate hike based on CME Fed Funds futures. That rate will drop significantly by December 13 when the FOMC meets again with a press conference.

Once the market wakes up to the real state of play, the current trends will suddenly reverse. You’ll see the dollar down and gold, euros and bond prices up.

On that score, one of the largest and most conservative wealth managers in the world, Pictet Group, based in Geneva, Switzerland, offers a very constructive view on gold.

Pictet’s strategist, Luc Luyet, says that the Fed will be on hold for the rest of 2017 and most of 2018 because of U.S. disinflation and the failure of President Trump to deliver on his growth agenda. I agree.

With the Fed in easing mode, the dollar will weaken and the dollar price of gold will remain strong. This is a fundamental case for gold that does not take into account other positive vectors such as geopolitical shocks from North Korea or outright assaults on the dollar from Russia and China (see below for more on these).

When a conservative institution like Pictet Group has a kind word for gold, you know the rest of the institutional world will not be far behind.

This all creates an opportunity for an excellent entry point for gold and gold mining stocks. You have a chance to take advantage of weakness and position ahead of the rally to come when reality sets in.

[Editor’s note: on the subject of gold mining stocks, our gold expert, Simon Popple, has a great opportunity to share with you this week. We’ll be sending those details to you very soon, so keep an eye on your inbox.]

Another tailwind for gold is the continuing nuclear standoff with North Korea, as I hinted at above.

There is no doubt that North Korea and the U.S. are on a collision course and headed for war unless North Korea relents, which seems unlikely, or the U.S. acquiesces to North Korean possession of nuclear weapons, which is also unlikely.

At this point, it’s almost certainly too late for negotiation or diplomacy.

The U.S. only has two choices now. The first is to do nothing and learn to live with nuclear blackmail from North Korea. As I said, that is unlikely. The second option is to attack, probably within the next six months, to destroy the Kim regime and its weapons programs.

Trump will go for the attack option.
You don’t even need to ask what will happen to gold prices in that scenario.

They’ll skyrocket and then much higher from there as the repercussions begin.

This is just another reason to acquire physical gold and gold mining stocks if you don’t already have them is now.

Another key gold story from this year is that China has upped its estimate of proven gold reserves to 12,100 tonnes. This report was the source of a lot of confusion among those who follow China, Russia, gold and the status of the U.S. dollar.

Some readers took the word “reserves” to refer to China’s official gold reserves held by the People’s Bank of China and its off-the-books sister entity, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE). That’s incorrect.

China’s official gold reserves are about 1,800 tonnes, but may be as high as 5,000 tonnes once off-the-books gold is counted. Some think it’s even higher.

But the report refers to “proven reserves,” which is a geologic (and engineering) concept familiar to the mining community. Basically, it’s an estimate of how much gold is buried in the ground in China and could feasibly be mined at current prices with current technology.

12,000 tonnes is still a lot of gold, but it will take 10 years or more and billions of dollars to dig it up and refine it. Even at 1,000 tonnes per year (double China’s current rate of production), this only increases gold supply about 0.5% per year. That would happen in conjunction with a diminution of gold output from traditional sources such as South Africa.

So increased Chinese gold production may replace diminished South African production, but it does not signify a major increase in global production. It’s worth noting, but not a game changer.

Still, the timing was curious because it came just two weeks after China launched its oil-for-yuan attack on the petrodollar, with the yuan backed up by gold available from the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

In order for the oil-yuan-gold deal to be credible, China needs to show that it could deliver physical gold to the exchange without touching official reserves. This report makes it clear that China will have ample internal gold supplies for years to come. This adds credibility to its plan to price oil in yuan convertible to gold.

If China relied exclusively on gold imports, it could be strangled by gold sanctions aimed at China by the U.S. and its allies such as Canada and Australia. Instead, China looks ready to go it alone with its own gold. That’s a very big deal and one more nail in the petrodollar’s coffin.

It’s also extremely bullish for gold. Any effort to monetize gold implies much higher gold prices in order to avoid deflation given current gold-to-money ratios.

This is just one more reason to position in gold before this horse leaves the barn.

Finally, we need to consider the difficulty of physical gold supplies to keep up with increasing demand. The global gold supply increases only about 1.6% per year, and the floating supply of gold has been disappearing into private vaults from Zurich to Shanghai.

Refiners cannot find enough “scrap” gold (your discarded jewelry) to produce fine gold to meet demand. If demand increases appreciably from here, and there’s excellent reason to believe it will, there’s only one solution to the shortage of gold supply. And that’s much higher prices.

There, four catalysts waiting to send gold much higher. The time to move into gold is now before it resumes its upward climb.

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Things fall apart in the ageing Free State gold fields

December 4, 2017 Posted by admin

Schalk van der Merwe‚ executive member of the Goldfields chamber of commerce and provincial chairman of the Small Business Institute‚ said the entire Goldfields area was rapidly deteriorating‚ and was an example of what other parts of the country could look like in five to 10 years.

“At this point in time the local economy is in decline. Every week you hear of a new business that is closing down. Even the big businesses are suffering‚ the little guys are suffering‚” he said.

“The towns are dying‚ Virginia and Odendaalsrus are dying. The only town that is not really that badly affected is Henneman‚ because it was never a mining town. It was always an agricultural centre.

“But the rest of the Goldfields is going down, and going down very quickly.”

Van der Merwe said that while the effect of the mine closures was undeniable‚ the life span of the mines was well communicated.

“From national and provincial government‚ and especially local government‚ there should have been plans in the pipeline to address this problem. Because you are sitting with a number of highly skilled people‚ but these skills have become redundant now. It was for government to facilitate a new economy to be introduced‚” he said.

“Organised business has done extensive work over the years on planning new initiatives to grow a new economy out of the old but from government’s side there was never really any buy-in.”

Van der Merwe questioned the management of Matjhabeng’s debt book.

“For these guys to actually balance their books they must show that they have a huge amount of debt outstanding from the people that are supposed to buy from them.

“And we asked them for a list of businesses in the area who have outstanding debt‚ and we found some factories that have bills of R200m. That is impossible‚ you can’t even use that amount of energy‚ never mind be in arrears to that amount‚” he said.

Last week the municipality announced to its residents through a front-page article in a local newspaper that no one needed to fear the water supply being cut off come December 8‚ as Mokonyane has threatened.

“The Matjhabeng municipality has been consistent in sticking to a payment schedule with Sedibeng and Eskom. However‚ the challenge lies with the defaulters who have undermined council’s 85% revenue target. Matjhabeng will not be affected by the cut-off threat‚” Matutle said.

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