Lustros, Inc. announced its subsidiary, Sulfatos Chile SpA, has begun pilot production of pentahydrate copper sulfate at its multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art facility in Chile. It also noted that its copper sulfate is high-quality agricultural grade.

“This is a moment of celebration for our employees and everyone else involved in the project. Our world-class 120-acre copper sulfate facility in Chile is now online and in production,” said Bill Farley, CEO of Lustros, Inc.

The plant capacity is three times its original design and is capable of processing up to 15,000 tons of mineral per month. It is currently permitted at 5,000 tons per month, and permit applications for increased production will be filed very shortly. Current production is expected to result in approximately 529,000 pounds (240,000 kilos) of pentahydrate copper sulfate per month.

Copper sulfate has various fundamental properties that make it a useful commercial chemical—several of them agriculture related. It is widely used as a fungicide, herbicide and pesticide as well as an analytical reagent. Demand is increasing rapidly for use as an additive to animal feed to naturally stimulate appetite in cattle, poultry and pigs.

Gonzalo Troncoso, president of Lustros, Inc. and CEO of Lustros Chile SpA, commented, “High grade copper reserves are decreasing worldwide. One kilogram of copper yields approximately four kilograms of copper sulfate. This reality prompted Lustros to specialize in the production of copper sulfate (CuSO4), a value-added product directly derived from copper.”

A large percentage of Copper Sulfate produced globally is made from copper scrap that contains toxins (such as dioxin), which are no longer accepted by major consumer countries. Lustros’ copper sulfate is produced directly from mineral rock and is free from scrap pollutants, making it a feed-grade copper sulfate for agricultural purposes.

There is strong interest from companies in Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Peru, and Chile to purchase feed-grade copper sulfate in quantities exceeding Lustros’ current potential production capacity, it was claimed in the grand opening announcement.

A comprehensive list of uses for copper sulfate is available at: http://www.copper.org/applications/compounds/table_a.html