Bundling know-how, fully exploiting synergies, and entering a new market: 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 non-ferrous metals in the US. Last Friday, the two companies took the next step in their strategic partnership in the global multimetal recycling sector, and signed a supply contract for a second plant module for the new Aurubis Richmond recycling plant in the US state of 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.
The SMS group recycling equipment is destined for the second module of the new Aurubis plant in the US. The core technology, the top-blown rotary converter (TBRC), is state-of-the-art equipment used for processing complex recycling materials so that raw materials like 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.
Aurubis is blazing a trail with the new recycling plant in the US: for about € 640 million for both phases of the project, the company is building the first secondary smelter specializing in multimetal recycling in the US, 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 signed on Friday is destined for the second stage, anticipated to start production in 2026.
The investment in Georgia is instrumental to Aurubis’ Sustainability Strategy: As a leader in multimetal recycling, Aurubis processes roughly 1 million tons of recycling material annually. The Aurubis Richmond recycling plant will add another 180,000 tons. The investment in Georgia will not only contribute to meeting the Group’s growth targets; the new plant will also comply with the highest environmental standards in the US and create around 200 new jobs. “Economic growth and comprehensive corporate responsibility go hand in hand for us,” Harings added.
Aurubis AG is a leading global provider of non-ferrous metals and one of the largest copper recyclers worldwide. The company processes complex metal concentrates, scrap metals, organic and inorganic metal-bearing recycling materials, and industrial residues into metals of the highest quality.
Aurubis produces more than 1 million tons of copper cathodes annually, and from them a variety of products such as wire rod, continuous cast shapes, profiles, and flat rolled products made of copper and copper alloys. Aurubis produces a number of other metals as well, including precious metals, selenium, lead, nickel, tin, and zinc. The portfolio also includes additional products such as sulfuric acid and iron silicate.
Sustainability is a fundamental part of the Aurubis strategy. “Aurubis responsibly transforms raw materials into value” – following this maxim, the company integrates sustainable conduct and business activities into the corporate culture.
Aurubis has around 6,900 employees, production sites in Europe and the USA, and an extensive distribution network around the world.