Governor Nathan Deal - Georgia’s 82nd Governor (2011-2019)

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Deal: Southern Ionics creates 125 jobs in southeast Georgia

May 13, 2014

Leading chemical manufacturer invests over $100 million in Charlton, Brantley and Pierce counties

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Southern Ionics, a Mississippi-based chemical manufacturer, will create 125 jobs and invest more than $100 million in Charlton, Brantley and Pierce counties over the next two years.

“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.”

The company has just completed the 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. By mid-2015, 125 people will be employed at the three facilities.

“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.”

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 ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday marked the completion of the wet mill construction, a six-story framework of pumps, pipes and spirals at the Mission South Mine. The mill sits on 10 100-foot-long pontoons that allow it to float in a pond that was excavated into the sand ridge.

Michelle Shaw, senior project manager at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) 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.”

About Southern Ionics

Southern Ionics is a Southeast regional chemical manufacturer. It was founded in 1980 by Milton Sundbeck. Today there are over 300 employees. Headquartered in West Point, Mississippi, Southern Ionics has manufacturing and transloading facilities at 12 locations in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Maryland. Southern Ionics manufactures and ships sulfur chemicals, aluminum chemicals, aqua-ammonia and zirconium chemicals. The products have widespread use for wastewater treatment, air pollution control, pulp and paper processing, concrete hardening, catalyst manufacturing, drilling mud additives and other industrial applications.