The purchase for an undisclosed amount by Shrewsbury, N.J.-based Metallix allows the company to significantly increase its catalytic converter recycling capacity, as well as its flexibility, reliability and speed. It also is in keeping with the firm’s mission of continuously improving their precious metal recycling process and technology, according to a news release.
Metallix said it will retain a majority of the operation’s employees. Umicore is based in Antwerp, Belgium.
The Maxton facility has the capacity to process 4 million pounds per year of ceramic converters. It is one of the few sites in the world with a PGM (platinum-group metals) recycling process for metal foil converters with the capability to process 3.5 million pounds per year of the difficult material.
The new facility complements Metallix’s existing refinery in Greenville, N.C., which recycles and refines other types of scrap precious metals from industries such as electronics, jewelry and specialty chemicals.
"We're excited to own and operate this state-of-the-art auto catalyst recycling facility,” said Eric Leiner, CEO of Metallix Refining Inc. “This acquisition gives Metallix another opportunity to better serve the precious metals recycling market."
The acquisition comes in conjunction with Metallix’s PGM Pipeline recycling program, which is a strategic alliance of companies aiming to refine and recycle PGM metals quickly and efficiently.
Precious metals recycling is a segment of the industry that has gotten steady attention. Last summer Canadian recycler NovX21 Inc. partnered with Corporation d'initiative et de développement économique de la Ville de Thetford Mines to start a new precious metals recycling plant in Thetford Mines, Quebec. Also last summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a restriction on mine waste disposal and mining at the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, which meant a restriction on mining for precious metals.