Metal Industry News

Aurubis to Expand Georgia Recycling Plant

By on

Multimetal producer and copper recycler Aurubis AG and Düsseldorf-based plant and machine manufacturer SMS group GmbH are expediting the development of the recycling market for nonferrous metals in the U.S. The two companies took the next step in their strategic partnership in the global multimetal recycling sector by signing a supply contract for a second plant module for the new Aurubis Richmond recycling plant in Georgia.

Aurubis is considerably accelerating its growth course in the future recycling and circular economy market. The additional equipment will increase the capacity of the metal recycling plant in Richmond, currently under construction, from an annual 90,000 tons of complex metal scrap materials to 180,000 tons per year. “With the next expansion stage of our new site in Georgia, we are delivering on our ‘Driving Sustainable Growth’ strategy,” Aurubis CEO Roland Harings said, “while also keeping mineral raw materials that are both strategically important and in high demand in the resource cycle.”

The SMS group recycling equipment is destined for the second module of the new Aurubis plant in the U.S. The core technology, the top-blown rotary converter is used for processing complex recycling materials so that raw materials such as copper, nickel, tin, precious metals and platinum group metals can be recovered in additional downstream stages. These metals are crucial raw materials for the technologies of the future, whether for the energy transition, sustainable mobility or digitalization.

“By bundling the SMS group’s extensive plant know-how with Aurubis’ unique expertise in processing and raw materials, we are creating an environment for the highly efficient recovery of metals,” Harings said. “This partnership allows us to take advantage of the enormous potential of the U.S. recycling market. The backing of a strong and reliable partner like the SMS group puts us in an excellent position for realizing a project of this scope professionally and on time.”

Estimated at approximately or about $691 million for both phases of the project, the company is building the first secondary smelter specializing in multimetal recycling in the U.S., thus making a targeted investment in expanding its recycling business. Groundbreaking for Aurubis Richmond took place in mid-2022, and construction is currently running at full steam. Stage one of the plant is scheduled to go online in the first half of 2024. The TBRC from the contract is destined for the second stage, anticipated to start production in 2026.