April 12, 2021

Facility Transformation Saves Jobs, Tax Revenues

Gum SpringsOur concerted effort to expand the capabilities of our former Gum Springs waste treatment facility in the United States improved the location and kept it viable through its sale to a new owner, ensuring it continues contributing to the rural Arkansas region’s tax base.

The Gum Springs facility was specially built to treat spent pot lining, which is the carbon and refractory lining left from retired smelting pots. With the reduction in aluminum smelting in the U.S during the past decade, the plant was becoming financially challenged.

In 2018, we conducted an internal study to determine the best path forward for the site. The study’s outcome led to an expansion of the facility’s capabilities to accept a broader range of materials for recycling, treatment or disposal.

We invested US$10 million in new equipment and secured appropriate approvals and permits to allow the facility to process additional material. We sold this non-core asset to Veolia ES Technical Solutions in February 2020, preserving tax revenues and approximately 110 jobs (70 full-time employees and 40 full-time contractors).