BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and President and CEO Alan Roughead of First Bauxite Corp. of Canada announced the company plans to invest $200 million to develop a bauxite processing plant on the Mississippi River in St. John the Baptist Parish. The project would create 100 new direct jobs ranging from entry level to skilled trade and professional management positions at an average annual salary of $70,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project would result in an additional 117 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 200 jobs in the River Parishes and the Southeast Louisiana region. At peak building activity, the company estimates the project would generate 150 construction jobs.
Based in Toronto, First Bauxite has concluded a feasibility study calling for the company to mine bauxite – an alumina-based ore – from Guyana, on the northern coast of South America, and ship it to Louisiana. There, the company would use the bauxite to manufacture ceramic proppants for the oil and gas industry. Proppants are sands or manufactured ceramic materials added to an industrial fluid to keep a hydraulic facture open – during or following the fracking process.
Gov. Jindal said, “This exciting project by First Bauxite Corp. of Canada demonstrates the breadth of foreign direct investment opportunities here in Louisiana. With world-class transportation facilities and industrial sites, along with abundant energy resources and outstanding workforce talent, Louisiana has become an ideal location for major investments by both foreign and domestic companies. These factors have combined to attract this impressive project to St. John the Baptist Parish and the kind of high-quality jobs we’ve worked so hard to create for Louisiana families.”
First Bauxite plans to build the plant on a 30-acre tract at the Globalplex Intermodal Terminal, which is owned and operated by the Port of South Louisiana in Reserve.
“Completion of our feasibility study is a significant milestone in the development of our bauxite industrial minerals project,” Roughead said. “The proposed facility will be located in a region offering competitive infrastructure, energy, labor and market access. We are very grateful for the assistance provided by LED, the Port of South Louisiana and the local authorities and business community.”
LED began discussing the potential project with the company in March 2014. To secure the project, the state offered a competitive incentive package that includes a performance-based grant of $950,000 to offset the costs of infrastructure improvements, and First Bauxite would receive the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart®, the top-ranked state workforce development program in the nation. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
In the third quarter of 2015, First Bauxite plans to initiate discussions with third parties to develop strategic initiatives to finance the project. If financing for the project is secured, the planned construction period is 27 months, followed by an estimated three-year production ramp-up.
“It is a great time to be in St. John the Baptist Parish and we are extremely pleased that First Bauxite Corp. is preparing to make its $200 million investment along our industrial corridor,” St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom said. “A project of this magnitude creates new quality jobs for our residents, increases opportunities for local business owners and enhances economic development of the parish. St. John relies heavily on industrial support and collaboration and this investment improves the parish’s overall competitiveness. We look forward to working with representatives of First Bauxite to bring this project to fruition.”
“The Port of South Louisiana is very pleased that First Bauxite has chosen to construct its planned new bauxite plant at the port’s Globalplex Terminal in Reserve,” said Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin. “We look forward to working with them and making this project a huge success. We are particularly happy about the 100 new good-paying jobs that will come with the project.”
“Greater New Orleans Inc. is pleased to welcome First Bauxite Corp. to the region,” said GNO Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht. “First Bauxite’s plan to invest in a bauxite-processing plant reaffirms that Louisiana’s combination of business climate, logistics and local support make it a top location for industrial projects. We look forward to working with First Bauxite Corp. to ensure their success.”
About First Bauxite Corp.
First Bauxite Corp. (TSX-V: FBX) is a Canadian natural resource company engaged in the exploration and development of bauxite deposits in Guyana, South America. The company has its head office in Toronto and is managed by experienced professionals with worldwide experience in the global industrial minerals industry across a number of industrial minerals. For more information, visit FirstBauxite.com.