One of nation’s only aluminum smelters set to close in Missouri Bootheel – by Allison Kite (Missouri Independent – January 25, 2024)

The Magnitude 7 Metals plant employed more than 400 workers in Marston.

One of the nation’s last primary aluminum smelters, which employs more than 400 workers in the Missouri Bootheel, will reportedly close its doors.

The Magnitude 7 Metals plant, in the southeast Missouri town of Marston, announced Wednesday it would curtail operations, according to Industrious Labs, an industry analysis group. In a press release, Industrious Labs said the plant represents about one-fifth of the nation’s aluminum production.

Sen. Jason Bean, a Republican from Holcomb who represents New Madrid County, said his office received no advanced warning that the closure was coming. “It’s absolutely devastating to our area,” Bean said Thursday afternoon. “Just awful.”

Clean energy groups, including Renew Missouri and the Sierra Club, blamed the closure on the smelter’s dependence on fossil fuels. James Owen, executive director of Renew Missouri, said the plant’s loss “cannot be overstated.” “This is devastating news for Missouri and the Marson community,” Owen said in the release.

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