Rutherford County, NC
Horsehead Corporation announced the construction of its new, state-of-the-art zinc and diversified metals production facility in Rutherford County, NC, near the municipality of Forest City. The new plant is expected to employ approximately 250 people once it is fully operational. This facility will produce zinc at much lower costs and provide opportunities for the Company not only to serve its traditional hot-dip-galvanizing market, but also to serve the broader market for special high-grade zinc and the continuous galvanizing market as well. The new facility will utilize a lower-cost, environmentally friendly solvent extraction and electrowinning technology to selectively remove and refine valuable metals from electric arc furnace-based feed and other recycled materials into special high-grade zinc and other metal concentrates containing silver, copper and lead. Solvent extraction is the only proven technology which selectively extracts zinc from a solution containing the multiple constituents typical of Horsehead's recycled feedstock. Electrowinning is the most commonly used technology in the world for producing high-purity zinc. The new plant will be capable of producing special high-grade (SHG) zinc and continuous-galvanizing grade (CGG) in addition to the Prime Western (PW) grade that the Company currently produces. Horsehead estimates the new plant's nominal operating level to be in excess of 150,000 tons per year of zinc.