Heraeus Precious Metals, a leader in precious metals recycling, trading and metal management services, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today with customers and government officials to celebrate the completion of a 30,000 square-foot expansion of their Wartburg, Tennessee facility. Among the invited guests in attendance: State Senator Ken Yager (12th District); Douglas Berry, the honorary consul for the Federal Republic of Germany for Tennessee; and officials from the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, including Bob Rolfe, ECD Commissioner; Allen Borden, Deputy Commissioner, Business, Community and Rural Development;
Jamie Stitt, Assistant Commissioner of Business and Workforce Development; and Gary Human, East Regional Director.
The multi-million dollar expansion project, which began in the spring of 2016, increases the plant’s pre-processing capacity to meet growing demand from customers in the chemical, electronics, automotive and jewelry industries. Established in 2004, the Heraeus Wartburg plant is a treatment and storage facility for both hazardous and non-hazardous materials containing precious metals.
With customer materials presenting more complex recycling challenges, Heraeus used the Wartburg physical plant expansion as an opportunity to make a significant investment in new recycling technologies and capabilities, including specialized converters, furnaces and processing equipment. Andre Christl, President of Heraeus Precious Metals, said, “Processing and recovering precious metals has become extremely complex. But today we have a state-of-the-art facility and a world-class team of talented employees at Wartburg to meet our customers’ recycling challenges. We could not have accomplished it without the support and cooperation we received from Wartburg, Morgan County and Tennessee Economic and Community Development officials.”
One of the newest innovations at Wartburg is its pyrometalurgical recycling converter, which uses a highly-specialized process to recover precious metals faster and more economically. The converter will primarily focus on the recovery of Platinum group metals. In addition to the investments in the physical plant, technology and capital equipment, Heraeus has created nearly 20 new jobs at Wartburg with the goal of creating additional positions as recycling demand grows.
The investment and expansion in Wartburg is part of the company’s global effort to strengthen its position as the world leader in precious metals across the entire lifecycle. With a global network of trading offices, processing facilities and recycling sites in Germany, Switzerland, China, South Africa, India, Hong Kong and the United States, Heraeus is the only true worldwide precious metal company serving the global market. Uve Kupka, President of Heraeus Precious Metals North America, noted that its Wartburg plant will serve as a critical processing hub to advance the way precious metals are recycled. He said, “Expanding our Wartburg plant and creating new jobs is a proud moment for us. But what is particularly exciting is that this facility will help us discover and develop new ways to treat, process and recycle precious metals even faster and more efficiently for our customers.”