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Syrah Resources selects Vidalia for graphite processing facility
from Staff Reports - NEWS
April 30, 2018 -

Natchez Inc. Press Release 04/30/2018

VIDALIA, La. — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Syrah Resources CEO Shaun Verner announced the company has selected a Vidalia site for its $25 million capital investment to develop a graphite processing facility in Louisiana. The Concordia Parish plant will produce graphite anode materials for batteries in electric vehicles and other products. The company, based in Melbourne, Australia, plans an initial graphite processing plant in a 50,000-square-foot industrial building near the Vidalia Port. The building can be expanded at a later date, should Syrah develop additional phases.

The commercial project will create 25 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $60,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 30 new indirect jobs, for a total of 55 new jobs in Central Louisiana.

“Syrah Resources is the latest international company to find that Louisiana is a great place for business investment,” Gov. Edwards said. “We have attracted over $42 billion in Foreign Direct Investment since 2010, and these international investments are responsible for 73,400 jobs in Louisiana, including more than 20,000 in the manufacturing sector. This innovative project is a welcome addition to Louisiana’s manufacturing portfolio.”

Syrah Resources mines and produces natural flake graphite in Mozambique and plans to ship the material to Louisiana for further processing. At the Concordia Parish facility, Syrah would refine the material into high-purity spherical graphite for use in battery anodes, with a focus on customers in the automotive industry.

“Syrah originally identified Louisiana as a preferred location, due to a strong manufacturing and experienced employment base, attractive utility and raw material supply opportunities, an extensive logistics network, and most importantly a focus on development from government and community,” Verner said. “All of these elements have been clearly demonstrated in the interactions we have had in Vidalia, and we are very positive about the long-term benefit of locating here.”

“The Town of Vidalia welcomes Syrah Resources to our community,” Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft said. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to diversify our industrial base with an additional manufacturer in our industrial parks. The town, and the State of Louisiana, have made significant investments into our industrial parks and port facility, and today we see the benefits of that investment through the creation of 25 new quality jobs with competitive wages. We look forward to developing a longstanding partnership with Syrah Resources in Vidalia.”

To secure the project, LED offered the company an incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart®, the top-ranked state workforce training program in the nation. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

“Concordia Economic Development is proud to aid in establishing new business growth and the creation of new manufacturing jobs in Concordia Parish,” said Chairman Richard Young of Concordia Economic Development.

Earlier this month, local governing bodies (Town of Vidalia, Concordia Parish Police Jury and Concordia Parish School Board) unanimously approved a property tax exemption for Syrah Resources encouraging the company to locate the manufacturing facility in Concordia Parish. “Receiving unanimous support from our local governing authorities for industrial tax incentives is proof that we are open for business and we welcome new manufacturers to Concordia Parish. We look forward to a continued partnership with Natchez Inc. and our local governing bodies, as well as our regional and state organizations who have all played a vital role in recruiting Syrah Resources to our community.”

In 2016, Concordia Economic Development, the Town of Vidalia, Louisiana, and Natchez Inc. of Natchez, Mississippi, agreed to formally pursue economic development projects together in the Miss-Lou Region that straddles the Mississippi River and connects the two communities and two states. Natchez, Inc. has worked with Syrah’s team since February of 2018 to coordinate the necessary players and provide the appropriate information for Syrah Resources to perform their proper due diligence.

“Natchez Inc. has enjoyed working with Syrah Resources, the Town of Vidalia and Concordia Economic Development to make this project a reality,” said Executive Director Chandler Russ of Natchez Inc. “Syrah’s commitment to generate high-paying jobs with an annual payroll of $1.5 million will improve our average wages and overall quality of life in Concordia Parish and the Miss-Lou Region. Syrah Resources, a new industry to our region, will open the Miss-Lou to new industrial markets we have not been exposed to before. We are excited about the possibilities Syrah will bring our community.”

Syrah Resources expects to start operations in 2018, with hiring beginning later this year.

About Syrah Resources
Syrah Resources (ASX code: SYR) is an Australian resource company that is producing graphite from its flagship Balama Project in Mozambique. Balama is expected to be the largest producer of graphite globally, and ideally positioned to meet the anticipated increase in demand from lithium ion battery applications, as well as servicing traditional graphite markets. Syrah is fully funded and well-positioned to deliver on its advantage as one of the early miners in the sector. For more information, visit | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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