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Jun 4, 2020
Ames Copper Group, a joint venture of Prime Materials Recovery, Inc. (PMR) and the Cunext Group, will create 46 jobs in Cleveland County, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest at least $26.3 million with the expansion of its copper manufacturing facility located in Shelby.

“This is good news for Cleveland County, and the City of Shelby,” said Governor Cooper. “Ames Copper Group knows our state’s strong workforce and looked to North Carolina for this next phase of growth.”

Ames Copper Group plans to invest more than $50 million in infrastructure, equipment and working capital over the course of the project to build a new copper smelter plant, which will recycle and purify copper materials. Currently, PMR’s affiliate IMC Metals America employs a 76-person workforce that manufactures copper for wiring and lightning rods, as well as applications in the defense industry.

“The manufacturing industry is critical to our success as a nation, and currently, this operation will be the only custom smelter in the United States,” said Bernard Schilberg, CEO of Prime Materials Recovery. “We are excited to be able to build upon our company’s successes and expertise, and bring resources back to the United States that create more opportunities for our economy to prosper.”

“As North Carolina’s economy returns to growth mode, our existing companies are leading the way with new hiring and investment,” North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland said. “Ames Copper Group is a great example of the kind of confident, forward-looking businesses that thrive in our state.”

Among the positions Ames Copper Group will create are casting workers, maintenance personnel, supervisors and administrative staff. The average annual salary for the new positions could exceed $51,700, with a payroll impact of more than $2.3 million per year for the local economy. The current average annual wage in Cleveland County is $40,019.

A performance-based grant of $150,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help locate Ames Copper Group to Cleveland County. The One N.C. Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One N.C. grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.

“Congratulations to Prime Materials for the success that has led to this significant expansion,” said N.C. Senator Ted Alexander. “Today’s announcement is exciting news for the people of Cleveland County, who will benefit from these employment opportunities and investment dollars. I had the opportunity to tour the plant while they were planning their expansion and am highly impressed with the great team of leadership and management they have assembled.”

“As we get North Carolina’s economy moving again, Prime Materials’ decision to expand its Shelby operations is a very positive omen for the future,” said N.C. Speaker of the House Tim Moore. “I commend our local and state leaders for their hard work in supporting the continued success of this impressive company.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce worked closely with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina in leading a collaborative state effort to support the company’s expansion. Other key partners in the project include the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority, the North Carolina Community College System, Cleveland Community College, Cleveland County, the City of Shelby, Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership, and Duke Energy.