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Itronics Reports (ITRO): GOLD’n GRO Fertilizer Orders Up 54 Percent

2017 sales are expected to improve significantly due to the end of the severe drought in California. GOLD'n GRO fertilizer orders were up 54 percent through mid-March 2017.

Itronics Inc. (ITRO) a diversified fertilizer and silver producing green technology company, today summarized its operations and diversification progress and announced sales results for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016. Full year sales decreased 22 percent on a 20 percent decrease in fertilizer sales. However, 2017 sales are expected to improve significantly due to the end of the severe drought in California and start of pilot scale e-scrap refining. GOLD’n GRO fertilizer orders were up 54 percent through mid-March 2017.

Total Revenues for the 12 months ended December 31, 2016 were $1,433,742 compared to $1,842,041 in 2015, a decrease of 22 percent. GOLD’n GRO fertilizer sales decreased by 20 percent. Most of the sales decline occurred in the first half of 2016. The Company had previously reported that 2016 was a difficult year due to adverse weather and difficult market conditions for California growers, a large market for the Company’s GOLD’n GRO fertilizers.

“The year 2016 was a transition year for Itronics during which the Company’s new five times scale up pilot leaching reactor was completed, and in which the Company succeeded in creating a new method for refining e-scrap to recover copper, gold, and palladium as saleable metals. These technologies are being put into pilot scale operation in 2017. The start of pilot scale e-scrap refining marks the beginning of Phase III of the Company’s e-scrap refining study which began in 2015. Silver sales will provide an expanding non-seasonal sales component to mitigate the seasonality and weather influenced variability of fertilizer sales,” said Dr. John Whitney, Itronics President.

In the first quarter of 2017, the Company’s subsidiary, Whitney & Whitney, Inc., has staked 28 lode claims at the Fulstone Project to expand coverage of the high grade zinc anomaly it announced in 2015. Discussions intended to identify a joint venture development partner for the Fulstone Project are on-going.

Twelve Month Sales Results

Unaudited Revenues for the fourth quarter, and 12 months ended December 31, 2016 together with comparative figures for 2015 are presented below:

For the Quarter For the 12 Months
Ended December 31 Ended December 31
2016 2015 2016 2015
Fertilizer $ 216,895 $ 322,559 $ 1,383,809 $ 1,734,547
Silver $ 1,297 $ 39,994 $ 2,609 $ 41,149
Photo Services $ 13,460 $ 11,626 $ 36,414 $ 34,876
Mining Technical Services $ 2,843 $ 6,600 $ 10,910 $ 31,469
Total Revenues $ 234,495 $ 380,779 $ 1,433,742 $ 1,842,041

Now that test refining of e-scrap has begun, the Company is expecting silver sales to make a significant contribution to total sales in 2017. The California drought ended during the first quarter of 2017 and growth in GOLD’n GRO fertilizer sales in 2017 would expand total sales even more.

Itronics is aggressively advancing development of its sustainability maximizing portfolio of new “Zero Waste” technologies whose objective is to create new non-seasonal lines of business using the Company’s core technologies. The current focus of the leaching and fire refining technology extensions is on pilot scale development of refining e-scrap that contains recoverable silver, gold, and palladium and recoverable base metals including copper and tin.

Operational Developments

One of the Company’s fundamental strengths is its ability to invent, build, and operate green “zero waste” technology to completely convert certain categories of hazardous waste materials into cash through the production and sale of commercial goods. The Company is using this creative ability to diversify and further integrate its operations by developing a portfolio of core “zero waste” technology extensions to establish year-round non-seasonal sales in new markets and to produce internally generated raw materials for use in the GOLD’n GRO fertilizers. The focus of these technology extensions is on processing materials that contain silver and other precious metals and zinc with other base metals.

GOLD’n GRO fertilizers. The Company has identified a potential new environmental benefit that may be obtained by using GOLD’n GRO fertilizers. Based on experience, the Company has observed the non-nutrient metals cadmium, lead, and mercury are not soluble in the GOLD’n GRO fertilizers. Vegetable growers have a need to minimize uptake of cadmium from the soil by vegetable crops.

The Company’s distributor performed field tests in 2016 that demonstrated that one of the GOLD’n GRO fertilizers is able to reduce cadmium uptake from high cadmium content soil for certain vegetable crops. In 2017 the Company plans to continue field testing to further develop this new technology.

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