Twin Pines mining project will be an economic shot in the arm for Charlton County

Aside from the human toll Coronavirus has taken on Charlton County, its economic impacts will also be felt long after the pandemic subsides. We all know people who have suffered job losses and business owners that have endured setbacks.

Unfortunately, Charlton County suffered a double hit when closure of the D. Ray James Correctional Facility was announced. Hundreds more workers face unemployment, and the closure is removing millions in annual revenue from a tenuous local economy. The prison is responsible for a large portion of local tax revenues and pays nearly half of Folkston’s entire annual water and sewer fees. Its employees have patronized local businesses and paid their own taxes for years; commerce that is certainly impacted by fewer paychecks in the county.

However, there is reason for optimism.

Twin Pines can be a much-needed economic shot in the arm. Consider, if granted the necessary state permits to proceed with our demonstration mine:

  • We will begin hiring immediately.
  • When fully operational, the project will directly employ a large, fulltime staff including standard labor, field technical advisors, heavy equipment operators, lab technicians, supervisors, managers and support staff.
  • These jobs are good-paying positions with excellent salary and benefits packages.
  • The project will result in creation of additional employment opportunities in support industries such as transportation, industrial materials and others.
  • Twin Pines tax payments have the potential to nearly double the county’s total tax digest.

As has been noted many times in the pages of this newspaper, we will demonstrate our ability to safely recover heavy minerals from Trail Ridge without negatively impacting the Okefenokee and surrounding environs.

Aside from the fact protecting the swamp is the right thing to do, we are investing hundreds of millions in this project, all of which combine to make compliance with environmental regulations essential. We have invested in exhaustive, independent, environmental and hydrogeologic studies, and developed engineering plans to assure we exceed the strictest standards.

Failing to achieve that objective would put our investment at risk. Fortunately, we’re positioned for success via safe, responsible, state-of-the-art surface mining. We look forward to proving the viability of our methods and giving the Charlton County economy a much-needed boost.

Our sincere thanks to all in the community who support our efforts. We look forward to working with you!