California Metal-X (CMX), a Los Angeles-based copper and bronze ingot manufacturer, has announced plans to restart production at Colonial Metals, a Columbia, Pennsylvania, red metals ingot-making plant that closed in mid-2018.
California Metal-X has acquired the assets of Colonial Metals and has indicated it intends to reopen the scrap-consuming brass and bronze ingot production plant by this May. When operational, it will be California Metal-X’s first facility in the eastern United States.
Tim Strelitz, president of CMX, tells Recycling Today that when Colonial Metals became available, “We saw a great opportunity to expand our operations.” Those opportunities will include providing CMX with geographic options it doesn’t have with its Los Angeles location.
Strelitz says that while the offshoring of manufacturing to Asia over the past few decades has devastated the copper business in North America, the shift in policies more recently has been a boon to the U.S manufacturing sector.
As for investments required to reopen the idled facility, Strelitz says the furnaces are in good shape and should not require large expenditures to restart. Also, the company is not seeking financial assistance from local government entities.
The company expects to produce high-quality copper casting alloys at the Columbia facility. In addition to acquiring Colonial’s assets, CMX has paid Colonial Metals’ remaining debts to allow the company to be extracted from bankruptcy proceedings.
The Columbia foundry is described as the only brass and bronze manufacturing facility with a submerged electric arc furnace, which can be used to recover copper from lower grades of scrap.
At the time of its closure, the facility was consuming an estimated 90 million pounds (45,000 tons) of scrap metal per year.