Southern Ionics, a southeast regional chemical manufacturer, will invest more than $100 million to establish its mining and mineral processing facilities in Charlton, Brantley and Pierce counties in Georgia.
Zirconium and titanium sands have been mined in southeast Georgia for almost 100 years. Southern Ionics plans to extract zirconium and titanium minerals from a sand ridge that stretches between Folkston and Nahunta.
The company recently completed construction of the Mission South Mine in Charlton County, which will soon be joined by the adjacent Mission North Mine in Brantley County and a mineral sand processing plant in Pierce County. Its wet mill, a six-story framework of pumps, pipes and spirals at the Mission South Mine, sits on 10 100-foot-long pontoons that allow it to float in a pond that was excavated into the sand ridge.
“Everyone at Southern Ionics appreciates and understands the privilege we’ve been granted to mine and produce mineral products from deposits in Charlton and Brantley counties,” said Milton Sundbeck, President of Southern Ionics. “We’ll be mining here for several decades and will be a good corporate citizen that our employees can count on for long-term, meaningful employment. We will engage in sustainable mining practices and reclaim the land to pre-mined forested conditions.”
According to Governor Nathan Deal’s Office by mid-2015, 125 people will be employed at the three facilities. “Georgia’s competitive business climate is the ideal location for this company to grow and prosper,” said Deal. “I am confident that the ready-to-work citizens in these counties will further the success of Southern Ionics’ three facilities.”
Michelle Shaw, Senior Project Manager at the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Charlton, Brantley and Pierce communities assisted the company with this project.
“State-of-the-art companies like Southern Ionics are what keep Georgia a leader in the global marketplace,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “With a diverse environment, top-ranked rail and highway accessibility and close proximity to the Port of Brunswick, our state’s pro-business climate is well poised to support Southern Ionics in its new venture.”