Press Release

Aurubis AG starts construction of a € 300 million (approx. $ 320 million) multimetal recycling plant in Augusta, Georgia

Augusta/Georgia | Friday, June 17, 2022

  • Groundbreaking of secondary smelter for multimetal recycling in the US; new facility Aurubis Richmond demonstrates gold-standard commitment to sustainable growth and the circular economy
  • Plant operational in the first half of 2024 and creates over 120 new jobs directly
  • Capacity to annually process up to 90,000 tons of complex metals containing recycling materials, including printed circuit boards
  • Aurubis’ metals are crucial enablers to promote global market trends such as renewable energy, digitalization and electric vehicles
  • Strong focus on environmental protection: State-of-the-art technology exceeds highest State of Georgia and federal government’s environmental standards
  • Aurubis is a leading provider of non-ferrous metals and one of the largest copper recyclers worldwide

Representing one of the biggest international investments in the state of Georgia, 150-year-old, German-based Aurubis AG broke ground today in the United States’ first large secondary smelter for multimetal recycling.

Total investment in Augusta, Richmond County in Georgia, is estimated at € 300 million (approx. $ 320 million), and the plant is expected to be fully operational by mid-2024.

We have doubled down on our commitments to use our technology and experience to become a forerunner for recycling valuable materials containing copper, nickel, tin, and other industrial and precious metals locally in the US,

said Roland Harings, CEO of Aurubis AG.

Once fully on-line, Aurubis Richmond, USA, will have the capacity to process about 90,000 tons of complex recycling materials annually. These include printed circuit boards, copper cables, and other recycling materials containing metals. Currently, much of these materials in the US are either shipped to Asia and Europe or trucked to local landfills.

“The US currently produces about 6 million tons of recycling materials that contain valuable metals. We want to take advantage of this great potential and help ensure that these materials get reused. They are critical input materials for many industries in the US”, said Roland Harings.

Continued, Harings, “The world needs metals such as copper – for our cars, mobile phones, batteries, cables, and computers. But at this point, current supply cannot meet demand and especially the US are lacking recycling capacities. As such, Aurubis’ technologically advanced facility in Augusta will be a game changer – for the environment, for manufactures, and for the larger transition to a renewable economy.”

Copper is 100-percent recyclable without any loss in performance. But secondary smelter recycling at an industrial scale requires significant long-term investment.

Aurubis’ facility will both reduce waste, and direct key metals to industry including renewables such as solar and wind, along with electric vehicle and battery manufacturers.

Further, Aurubis’ state-of-the-art environmental technology meets or even exceeds the highest State of Georgia and the federal government’s standards. Aurubis Richmond will have a very low impact on the air quality in the region (less than 0.2 % share of dust emissions in Richmond county*).

“We are excited to welcome Aurubis as one of more than 500 German companies with operations in Georgia and congratulate our state and local economic development teams on bringing this sustainability-focused company to Augusta,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “As the largest single investment made by a German company in Georgia history, this groundbreaking represents what is made possible in the Peach State by our strong partnerships and world-class business assets.”

Aurubis’ Georgia facility is expected to become a major player in the North American supply chain and a significant employer in greater Augusta, GA. It is also expected to further elevate Aurubis’ gold-standard leadership for major multi-metal recycling and environmental stewardship across the world.

Further background information on Aurubis Richmond, which is continuously updated, including impressions of the groundbreaking ceremony, are available here.
 

* Estimation based on the actual emissions at the Aurubis recycling site in Germany.

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Angela Seidler
Angela Seidler

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