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Chemours to explore selling mining business

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WILMINGTON – The Chemours Company, a global chemistry and advanced materials company, announced Monday afternoon that it will explore the sale of its mining solutions division in order to refocus its business and boost share value.

Chemours has initiated a strategic review to assess the potential sale, the first step for corporations looking to sell off parts of their portfolio.

“Optimizing and focusing our portfolio continues to be a top strategic priority for Chemours,” President and CEO Mark Vergnano said in a statement announcing the decision. “Our overall goal and intent are to position every one of our businesses — including Mining Solutions — to deliver the highest level of profitable growth possible, for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

Mining solutions is a part of Chemours’ chemical solutions division and is one of the largest North American producers of solid sodium cyanide — a key component for the safe, efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective extraction of gold and silver from mined ores.

Chemours has operated a Memphis, Tenn., sodium cyanide plant since spinning off from DuPont in 2015. DuPont has operated the plant since the 1950s.

“Recent investments in production capability and infrastructure at the company’s Memphis plant, along with supply chain optimization efforts to reduce costs, will enable Mining Solutions to maximize growth and margin expansion, further increasing the value of this highly successful business,” said Ed Sparks, Chemours’ titanium technologies and chemical solutions president, in a statement. “The Mining Solutions business remains committed to addressing the ever-changing needs of the precious metals mining industry, throughout and following this strategic review.”

Chemours has retained New York-based consultancy firm Gordon Dyal & Co. Advisory Group LP to assist in the strategic review process.

The decision to explore selling off its mining solutions division would be the first divestiture by Chemours since the 2016 sale of its sulfur products business and cleaning and disinfectants division.

In February, Vergnano told analysts that customer mine shutdowns and COVID-19-related issues reduced demand for the core Mining Solutions product lines in the second and third quarters of 2020. However, volumes began to improve in the fourth quarter, with December sales the highest of the year.

News of the potential sale briefly raised Chemours’ share value about 2% in after-hour trading Monday, but the stock was down about 7% Tuesday amid a market slump.

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