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United States Antimony Corporation (“USAC”, OTCBB “uamy.ob”) has reported a loss of $116,233 on sales of $3,053,554 for Q1 2012 compared to a profit of $45,363 on sales of $2,838,039 for Q1 2011. The loss is attributed to a $1,488,911 inventory build up prior to the start up of the Puerto Blanco mill and expansion of the Madero smelter and the booking of $81,782 of non-operational expenses in Mexico.
The 150-ton Puerto Blanco mill and Madero smelter are being supplied by more than seven antimony properties in Mexico. Besides the Los Juarez property that USAC operates, USAC has Supply Agreements on all of them with options to buy two of them.
Four furnaces are being operated at the Mexican smelter, and three of them are being retrofitted for increased production. The furnaces are designed to handle low-grade antimony oxide ore which predominates in Mexico.
The Mexican combination flotation and gravity mill is delivering concentrates to the smelter. The mill recovers the sulfides and some of the oxides not recoverable by flotation methods. A large pre-crusher is being installed to accommodate oversize rock from the Los Juarez property.
At Los Juarez, mapping and sampling continues to further define the outcrop of jasperoid-type mineralization. Milling of Los Juarez is expected shortly after the installation of a large crusher to confirm grades, metallurgy, and mining cots.
Lawrence said, “USAC plans to expand their vertically integrated operations from mine to customer by continuing to increase Mexican production. During World War II, Mexico was the second largest producer of antimony in the world despite the use of hand-sorting and crude gravity methods.”
Antimony is considered a “strategic” metal by the military. It is used to harden ordnance and lead in storage batteries, antimony tri-sulfide is used for ordnance primers, and antimony trioxide is used as a flame retardant in plastics and textile items in aircraft interiors, vehicles, insulation on wires, and clothing. Currently, the Department of Defense of the United States of America (“DOD”) sources antimony from the Peoples Republic of China, the world’s dominant supplier. The Company has been asked to supply various antimony products for DOD applications to establish alternative sources. Meanwhile, the Company continues to operate in a “sold out” condition.