people wearing hard hats holding shovels
Photo courtesy of Aurubis

Aurubis begins construction in Georgia

The company's secondary smelter will be fully operational in 2024.

Aurubis AG, headquartered in Germany, broke ground Friday, June 17, on its first large secondary smelter in the United States in Augusta, Georgia. The company is investing 300 million euros, or $320 million, in the site, which will be able to process about 90,000 metric tons of metal-bearing recyclables annually when it is fully operational in 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,” says Roland Harings, CEO of Aurubis AG, in a news release about the ground breaking.

Materials processed at the site will include printed circuit boards, copper cables and other recyclables containing metals.

“The U.S. currently produces about 6 million tons of recycling materials that contain valuable metals,” Harings says. “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 U.S.

“The world needs metals such as copper for our cars, mobile phones, batteries, cables and computers,” he continues. “But at this point, current supply cannot meet demand, and especially the U.S. 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.”

Aurubis says its environmental technology meets or exceeds the highest state and federal government standards, a low impact on air says quality in the region.

“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,” Gov. 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.”