May 17, 2020

IAEA Reveals Syria Nuclear Capabilities

3 min
The International Atomic Energy Agency reveals details about Syria indeed developing nuclear energy capabilities
In 2007, Israeli warplanes supposedly destroyed a strategic target in the Syrian desert as part of an on-again-off-again conflict between the two Midd...


In 2007, Israeli warplanes supposedly destroyed a strategic target in the Syrian desert as part of an on-again-off-again conflict between the two Middle East nations. Little was reported on the details of the destroyed target initially; however, now the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is revealing details claiming that the target was indeed Syria’s attempt at constructing a nuclear reactor.

Apparently, U.S. intelligence reported back in 2007 that the target was a nuclear facility, but the IAEA was not so quick to jump on board with such a claim. IAEA Chief Yukiya Amano has announced today that the evidence points unequivocally to the fact that the facility was a reactor. “The facility that was destroyed by Israel was a nuclear reactor under construction,” said Amano in response to a question from the Associated Press.

Israel has never come forward to respond on the strike, nor claims responsibility for the aerial attack. U.S. intelligence agencies on the other hand openly identified the target as a nearly completed nuclear reactor and stressed the urgency of destroying it since it could potentially produce plutonium for nuclear warheads. Recently released Wikileaks documents reveal the details of the attack, highlighting Israel’s involvement.

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Syria officially denies any covert nuclear activity, for either energy or nuclear arms. However, Syria only permitted IAEA inspectors to assess the facility once, just following the bombing, and refused access thereafter. The site was completely leveled and new structures built on top, leading some to fear that the country did have something to hide.

This brings us back around full circle to an interesting quandary. While it is perfectly spelled out in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that countries with nuclear capabilities are encouraged to support efforts toward safe nuclear energy generation in developing countries, this is not what seems to be occurring, especially in countries that supposedly harbor terrorists. Granted, secrecy is not acceptable in the pursuit of nuclear energy, and the IAEA is supposed to be granted ultimate authority over inspection and approval of nuclear facilities. Nonetheless, it is more and more apparent that countries not in alignment with the powers at be (i.e. the U.S. and Israel in this case) are blatantly denied access to nuclear energy, even when no proof of weapons development is present.

Just a few months ago, the IAEA confirmed that Iran’s nuclear facilities—which were for years thought to be involved in nuclear weapons development—in fact show no apparent signs of weapons manufacturing, and appear to be solely for energy generation. The U.S. went so far as to warn of a possible war with Iran over this issue. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia—the home country of the majority of the 9/11 terrorist attack conspirators—is free to seek nuclear capabilities without reprimand and is openly brokering deals with France for nuclear technology. Is no one seeing the irony in all of this? Or is it that we have become so jaded by the international power struggle that we just simply allow our governing bodies to kill innocent people in the name of international security. This is not to say that the international community shouldn’t be skeptical of countries seeking nuclear capabilities, but when there is no concrete proof of weapons development taking place, it seems like a barbaric approach to bomb a facility, resulting in the deaths of several innocent workers. Not soldiers… not terrorists… workers! Like you and me.

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

Scott Birch
3 min
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States...

Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.

Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.

The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content. 

In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.

Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.

"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president. 

“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.

"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.

Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.

Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.

A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.

The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.

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