WILMINGTON, DE — The Chemours Co. announced development of a new mineral sands surface mine in Wayne County, Georgia. The mine will be operated by Georgia-based Southern Ionics Minerals (SIM), an experienced mine operator with a strong reputation for responsible mine development. Chemours expects construction to begin in early 2019.
“Chemours supports our customers’ needs for Ti-Pure™ titanium dioxide pigment by regularly investing to improve our manufacturing capability and capacity, including ore source development,” said Bryan Snell, President of the Titanium Technologies business for Chemours. “We are pleased to have Southern Ionics Minerals as a partner in this new mine. SIM and Chemours share a common value for safe and responsible mine operation, care for the local community and its natural resources, and a commitment to restore the land to its original character,” added Snell.
According to Nicole Newell, who manages the existing Chemours mine site in Starke, Florida, this new Georgia mine site is an extension of the existing mineral sand deposits that have been mined by the company over the last 70 years in northeast Florida. “The new mine site will also provide Chemours with additional, future supplies of our Starblast™ staurolite and AlZiBlast™ kyanite/zircon blasting abrasives and calcined zircon sand for investment casting, foundries and ceramics,” noted Newell.
Newell said SIM will operate the Chemours-funded mine, producing mineral products for Chemours at the SIM Mineral Separation Plant in Offerman, Georgia, which is approximately 20 miles from the new mine site. A gravity separation method will be used to extract the titanium and zircon minerals, which represents three percent of the soil. Once separated, Newell said the remainder is immediately returned to the land, the topsoil is replaced, wetlands are re-established and trees are re-planted. She said the restored topography appears and functions as if the mine was never there.
“SIM looks forward to working with Chemours,” said Stuart Forrester, President of SIM. “Through every stage of our mining process, from pre-mining surveys of wildlife to monitoring the growth of trees planted on completed mine areas, we are guided by our principles: to care for the land we work and its wildlife, to treat it as our own backyard, and to restore it to close to its pre-mining conditions.”
Forrester expects construction activities to begin in 2019 with mining and production to commence in 2020.