Avalon Rare Metals Not Building Geismar Plant

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Avalon Rare Metals, which announced plans to build a $300 million rare earth elements separation plant and refinery in Geismar two years ago, has decided against building the Ascension Parish facility.

         Company officials say Avalon's plans to build the rare earths refinery in Geismar were abandoned after the company struck a deal with chemical company Solvay, utilizing its separation plant in La Rochelle, France.

         Don Bubar, president and CEO of Avalon, said the company considered building a hydrometallurgical plant in Geismar to obtain metals from its ores. But that deal didn't work financially.

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         Mike Eades, president and CEO of the Ascension Economic Development Corp., tells Timothy Boone with The Advocate parish officials are disappointed with the company's decision.

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