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Germany-Based Aurubis Plans Augusta, Georgia, Recycling-Smelting Plant

Aurubis, a Germany-based recycler of copper, precious metals, and non-ferrous materials worldwide, will invest $340 million in a state-of-the-art recycling and secondary smelting facility in Augusta, Georgia. The project is expected to create 125 jobs.

The company will build its facility on 150 acres at Augusta Corporate Park. Operations are expected to begin by the first half of 2024.

“With this investment, we are setting a clear example of sustainable growth, and will become a forerunner for multi-metal recycling in the U.S. as well – a role that we already have in Europe now,” said Roland Harings, CEO of Aurubis AG.

Aurubis’ commitment to sustainable development and to raw material security will play a role in building Georgia’s electric mobility value chain, state officials explained. From Augusta, the company plans to produce materials found in lithium-ion batteries and other electronics.

“I am thrilled to be here in Germany today as we celebrate the largest single investment by a German company in Georgia,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Home to more than 500 German companies, it’s tough to go anywhere in Georgia without seeing Germany’s influence on our economy or our culture. And it is very exciting to see the ways in which our longstanding relationship with Germany continues to help us create exciting new jobs that will play a role in keeping Georgia in the driver’s seat of our green manufacturing future.”

Currently, there are three copper smelting operations in the United States, two in Arizona and one in Utah, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. But all three smelt copper that is directly mined. The Augusta facility will smelt copper that is harvested from items such as piping, motors and computers.

“The Georgia Ports Authority is happy to play a role in bringing jobs and investment to Georgia,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Exports produced by the Aurubis recycling operation will strengthen the state’s global position via Savannah, already one of the nation’s most balanced ports in terms of import-export trade.”

Senior Project Manager Fernanda Kirchner represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce division on this project in partnership with the Augusta Economic Development Authority, Georgia Ports Authority, and Georgia Power. Managing Director for the State of Georgia’s Europe Office Sérgio Domingues also played a supporting role in attracting Aurubis to Georgia.

“They were looking for obviously the size of the site, full utility services, but also workforce,” said Augusta Economic Development Authority President Cal Wray. “Between our corporate park and the workforce, they were very much positives in Augusta's favor.”

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