ITOS SILVER - ORURO BOLIVIA                            

     applying modern technology

    in a land of rich natural resources






The process building is in the background.  To complete the process, the carts of precipitate are transferred to the refinery building in the foreground.  Baghouses collect and recycle dust from the furnaces.

One of the carts of precipitate can be seen in the tunnel drying furnace above gas burner.  After drying, the precip is mixed with about 30% of its weight in fluxes (sodium bicarbonate, charcoal and borax) and smelted.

The ore is smelted in one tonne batches in a gas-fired reverberatory furnace.  Arsenic, iron  and much of the lead and antimony are slagged off.  The metal from this furnace is enriched to 20% silver.

The metal is then placed in cupel furnaces where it is blown with air for about 3 days.  Antimony oxide is collected in baghouses.  Lead and copper go into slag.  The final product from these furnaces in silver bullion.

Kappes, Cassiday & Associates are operators of the Itos plant on behalf of Baremsa.  Ing. Alberto Quinones, Operations Manager for KCA, is shown in the white hat.  Business services, governmental relations, and metal sales are handled by Hans Tordoir, La Paz-based principal of Barex.  

This photo shows a typical weekly production of 500 to 600 kg silver - each bar weighs about 25 kg and contains 95% silver, 5% copper.