Reopened Bootheel aluminum plant sends first shipment

A recently reopened aluminum plant in southeast Missouri celebrated its first shipment Tuesday, the Sikeston Standard Democrat reports.

Magnitude 7 Metals reopened the plant, located in the town of Marston in New Madrid County, earlier this year. Magnitude 7 purchased the facility from Noranda Aluminum, which declared bankruptcy and shuttered the plant in 2016.

The plant employs 345 workers, but Magnitude 7 CEO Steve Rusche is optimistic that by Sept. 1, there could be more than 460 workers on the payroll.

Bringing the plant back to life, Rusche said, was no small ordeal.

“It was an old, undercapitalized smelter that had been down for almost … two and half years,” Rusche said. “We could see it kind of deteriorate right before our eyes, like an old ship on the bottom of the ocean.”

State Rep. Don Rone, R-Portageville, visited Magnitude 7 Metals Tuesday to witness the departure of the 45,000-pound aluminum shipment.

Rone played a prominent role last year when former Gov. Eric Greitens called a special session of the Missouri Legislature to pass a law changing how utility rates are regulated for the state’s biggest electricity users. At the time, Greitens cited the reopening the aluminum smelter as a driving factor.

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