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Price of antimony near 16-year high; Los Juarez exploration program initiated
THOMPSON FALLS, MT / ACCESSWIRE / March 15, 2022 / United States Antimony Corporation (USAC-the Company) is pleased to provide this operational update. The improvements in production and efficiency continues at all locations. A detailed geophysical program at Los Juarez has been initiated and the head geologist is at Los Juarez.
Operations Updated- January and February
Safety and Environmental
All Company operations reported zero lost time or serious injury accidents during the January-February Period.
There were zero environmental spills, discharges, or incidents during the period. The previously announced (see NR- Jan. 15, 2022) pro-active program of legacy slag clean-up at the Madero Smelter continued and is now 86% complete. Concurrently, the Company is aggressively reducing its stockpile of legacy slags in Montana. In January, 80,000 lbs were shipped and in February 120,000 lbs were shipped. The Company has 178,000 lbs of this legacy slag left to ship.
Production (Unless otherwise specified, tons = metric tons)
Bear River Zeolite ("BRZ")
0 (mine closed winter months)
The total sold tonnage is 46.6% increase over the 1,640 tons shipped in Jan-Feb 2021.
Purified antimony metal sold (tons):
Antimony Trioxide sold (tons):
(NOTE: Tons of antimony trioxide sold were 130% higher and average sale price 91.6% higher in 2022 than for same period in 2021!)
Antimony Trisulfide produced (lbs):
Construction of the new 50'x100' warehouse (for additional storage of product) and the 40'x60' shop (for servicing equipment) continued. Each structure has wall footings poured and overburden gravel taken from the mine pit in preparation for the pouring of the floors has been completed. The shop floor and general design will facilitate servicing of all rolling stock as well as all plant equipment. Both structures should have completed framing by late April.
The new classification machine for Line #1 was designed and ordered in February and scheduled to ship March 18th. Two new motors on two different machines for the crude size-classification of zeolite in the crushing process were ordered and received and are going to be installed to replace existing ones with bad bearings. Multiple, previously delinquent accounts with vendors for equipment have been addressed and corrected. Improvements to the new jaw crusher were made that eliminated vibration. The apron feeder speed controller was improved and a bad apron segment replaced. Two base-unit radios were purchased for use in the crusher room and office to aid in plant-wide communication. Three employees were replaced and two were let go. A secondary stockpile patio was created and is planned to store extra mined ore for access during winter months to improve production capacity during winter. USAC received approval from Cat Finance and has agreed to purchase a Cat 740 haul truck to replace the aging one that was in service. USAC intends to purchase a replacement for its 988B loader to further aid in production.
The Mexican Smelter operations continued to produce finished antimony metal. For this period, two truckloads of finished metal were produced and sold.
All smelted material at our Mexican Smelter is being converted to purified antimony metal for sale. This is a 3-stage process converting the ore firstly to crude antimony oxide, secondly to crude antimony metal, and finally to purified antimony metal in ingot form. Consequently, USAC is only reporting its production and sales of antimony ingot sales for these months as all other product is considered ‘work in process' material. Whereas prior management sent crude oxide to its plant in Montana for finishing and selling, USAC intends to sell antimony ingots directly from its Mexican smelting facility for now. The long-term plan is to produce and sell finished ingots from Mexico until updates to the facilities there can be made affording the ability to produce finished oxide there also.
A series of metallurgical experiments were conducted in our small rotary furnaces in February. The result of these experiments resulted in the proven reduction in the necessary quantity of sodium carbonate by at least 50%. The new process has been implemented and has been running successfully for 4 weeks.
As part of the smelter infrastructure upgrade project, a program to clean-up and process approximately 2,000 tons of legacy slag was undertaken and is now 86% complete.
One of the three Large Rotary Furnace filter baghouses has been completely updated including the replacement of 160 filter bags and cages, for the first time sourced and purchased from within Mexico.
Montana (Antimony Trisulfide):
Modifications to two new furnaces used to produce antimony trisulfide were necessary after we experienced 3 separate furnace element failures. It was determined that sulfur gas emitted during the pour was finding its way into the chamber with the heating elements. To mitigate this the following modifications have been made:
High-temperature seals installed between furnace walls and top of crucible.
The introduction of low-pressure compressed air into the chamber surrounding the crucible and containing the heating elements.
The introduction of a vent hole in the lid of the furnace for relieving any tendency for outgassing to contact heating elements.
A hydraulic pressure reduction valve on each furnace to allow finer control of the tilting mechanism during pouring.
These modifications were necessary after assessing the performances of both furnaces while producing test batches of antimony trisulfide in early October. These furnaces produced 3,091 lbs of antimony trisulfide in Jan-Feb time period.
Two additional electric furnaces have been ordered in anticipation of demand and also to reduce down-time for servicing.
Mitzi Hart was hired in an official capacity 7 Jan 2022 as antimony Sales Manager. Marilyn Sink, our Plant Manager trained Mitzi to take over the Plant Manager duties. Mitzi has an excellent resume and so far has made significant improvements and contributions to sales and management.
Antimony prices have continued to rise beginning in mid-2020 and the rate of increase has accelerated recently with events in China and the Ukraine. Our average sale price for this period has increased by 70% since this time last year.
The dual-deck classifier to upgrade the rate, quality, and quantity of product to supply to Ambri was used to produce 1,000 kgs of antimony purchased by them. This product has met with their approval for their green molten antimony metal wind/solar grid storage battery (https://ambri.com/) and we have received another two orders from Ambri for 1, 500 kgs each.
Los Juarez Property/Puerto Blanco floatation facility:
About 200 tons of 2,000 tons of ore from the Los Juarez property has so far been processed at our Puerto Blanco floatation facility. The ore is being converted to an antimony concentrate whose primary value is in the precious metals. This 2,000 tons was selected from mined open pits at Los Juarez. Once a meaningful percentage of the 2,000 tons has been processed, USAC will have improved data for expected feed-grade and precious metal recoveries.
USAC wired funds for our head geologist in Mexico, Felipe Yapur, to travel to and stay in Los Juarez with one of our miners and caretakers of equipment on the property. Felipe's initial task, assisted by our Manager of Operations in Mexico, Herriberto Torres, will be to outline the survey area, obtain permission from neighboring surface right owners, designate personnel from Los Juarez to employ in assisting in the preparation of the survey lines, and coordinate and program with specialists from each survey being performed. Geophysics will include Very Low Frequency Electromagnetic (VLF), Magnetometer (MAG) and included Induced Polarization (IP) surveys on a grid. Line cutting using 100 meter spacing will be done on an area of approximately 0.6 km in the N-S direction by approximately 3.0 kms in the E-W direction.
Forward Looking Statements: This Press Release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are based upon current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, including matters related to the Company's operations, pending contracts and future revenues, ability to execute on its increased production and installation schedules for planned capital expenditures and the size of forecasted deposits. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements and the assumptions upon which they are based are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations and assumptions will prove to have been correct. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, as these statements are subject to numerous factors and uncertainties. In addition, other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are discussed in the Company's most recent filings, including Form 10-KSB with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
United States Antimony Corp.
PO Box 643 47 Cox Gulch Rd.
Thompson Falls, Montana 59873-0643
E-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: 406 579 4097
SOURCE: United States Antimony Corp.
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