Chemours buys SIM

Stuart Forrester, president of SIM, explains the mineral separation process at the company’s sand filtration plant in Offerman.   –Times file photo

Southern Ionics Minerals (SIM), a local mining company in Offerman, has a new owner.

Company executives announced late last week that The Chemours Company acquired SIM from Southern Ionics Incorporated. The purchase includes SIM’s processing plant in Offerman, sand harvesting site in Charlton County, and offices in Jacksonville. SIM will now operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Chemours Company.

Chemours, a global chemistry company specializing in titanium technologies, fluoroproducts and chemical solutions, has already been working closely with SIM. SIM harvests and processes titanium and zirconium mineral sands from the same geological formation as those produced by Chemours at the company’s existing mineral sands operation in Florida.

“We are thrilled to add SIM’s assets to the Chemours portfolio and are excited to welcome the dedicated, capable team responsible for operating these assets to the Chemours family,” says Bryan Snell, president of the Titanium Technologies business for Chemours.

“SIM has a tremendous track record that demonstrates their strong commitment to environmental stewardship and they are a good neighbor to the communities in which they operate. Their values of trust and integrity are closely aligned with our core value of unshakable integrity and our corporate responsibility commitments. We are proud to have SIM and its employees as part of our mineral sands harvesting business,” Snell continues.

Stuart Forrester, president of SIM,  is optimistic about the acquisition.

“We share many of the same values around safety and responsible operations as Chemours, and we look forward to greater benefits and opportunities for our employees as we become part of this outstanding organization,” Forrester says.

“I believe the acquisition will be good for Chemours, SIM and Pierce County,” agrees Matt Carter, Pierce County’s industrial development executive director.

Last November SIM announced the creation of 100 new jobs with their expansion of mining operations into Wayne County as Southern Ionics took over mining of a sand deposit there on behalf of Chemours. Twenty of those new jobs were expected to be at the company’s mineral separation plant in Offerman. The remainder were to be within the mining operation itself. The new mine was reported to add another $7.7 million to SIM’s payroll, bringing the company’s total number of employees to approximately 250.

That expansion was also reported to include upgrades to the Offerman facility.

Forrester told The Times last week he expects those upgrades will move ahead, but the details are still being worked out.

“The upgrade is likely to still proceed, however, final scope is still to be finalized now that the deal has been completed,” Forrester says.

About Chemours

Chemours has harvested mineral sands in Florida for more than 70 years and produces its Ti-Pure™ brand of titanium dioxide from a wide variety of mineral sands. In acquiring the SIM assets, Chemours will now have additional access to large, high-value ilmenite mineral sand deposits to produce titanium dioxide pigments.

Chemours ingredients are found in plastics and coatings, refrigeration and air conditioning, mining, and general industrial manufacturing. Their flagship products include prominent brands such as Teflon™, Ti-Pure™, Krytox™, Viton™, Opteon™, Freon™ and Nafion™.

The company has approximately 7,000 employees and 28 manufacturing sites serving approximately 3,700 customers in over 120 countries. Chemours is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol CC.