Chemical manufacturer Chemours is investing $86 million to acquire a Georgia company and open a new mining operation and plant in Wayne County, Ga., a move that will create 78 jobs.
The Delaware-based DuPont spinoff makes Teflon and other chemical brands and mineral sands used in manufacturing in industries like aerospace, automotive and energy. It’s also a global leader in the production of titanium dioxide, which is used as a coating or as a whitening agent in cosmetics, paint, paper products and even food and medicines.
Chemours will open the new mining facility in Jesup, Ga., near some existing operations of Southern Ionics Minerals LLC, which Chemours acquired. The operation will produce titanium dioxide and zircon sand, the latter of which is to be used in precision metal casting.
Located on land now used to grow timber, the mine will be dug an average of 15 feet into the surface, extracting the valuable minerals from the soil using a gravity spiral separation process that doesn’t require chemicals, according to the company’s website. The desired minerals — zircon, staurolite and ilmenite — make up only about 3 percent of the soil.
A news release from Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said the company plans to recycle 98 percent of the water used in production, and Chemours said the land will be restored and planted with saplings when mining is complete in a few months.
“They’ve been very open with us during the entire process, and we’re now seeing it come to life. We’re very proud of the care they are taking with the natural environment during the mining process,” said Jesup Mayor David Earl Keith in a news release.
Chemours has 7,000-plus employees around the world and offices in Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Mexico, China and Singapore.
The mining site in Jesup, via Google Maps: