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For Immediate Release

Friday, July 12, 1996

Contact: Lee Lemke

China Clay Producers Association

(478) 757-1211

Kaolin Drives the Port of Savannah

Atlanta, Georgia- "A bustle of activity" is one way to describe the Port of Savannah. It is literally alive with movement. The huge facility located at the mouth of the Savannah River, is one of the nation's oldest and yet most modern ports. It is the terminus for trains and trucks loaded with products from Georgia's mines, farms, woodlands and manufacturers. The port is equipped to store and handle almost any product or material from peanuts and lumber to automobiles. However, kaolin is now the largest volume commodity handled by the port.

Lee Lemke, Executive Vice President of the China Clay Producers Association, a trade association headquartered in Atlanta and representing Georgia's major kaolin producers said, "Over the past 25 years, the kaolin industry has developed a large world market for its products, working with our industry and private investors, the Ports Authority has developed the world's most sophisticated and innovative handling systems for rapidly and efficiently storing and handling kaolin products." He said, "Almost 30% of the industries' production is exported through the port." The principal foreign markets currently being served are Europe, Japan, Korea and Indonesia.  Lemke also said, "While we have had good success in foreign markets, we are beginning to experience strong competition from kaolin producers in Brazil, Australia, and China."

E. Gay Mayfield, President of Peeples Industries, Inc., whose subsidiary, Southern Bulk Industries, Inc., operates a kaolin handling facility in the port said: "The Port of Savannah handled in excess of 2,300,000 tons of kaolin products last year. Handling these products required the collective efforts of a wide variety of marine and export service companies, which provided material handling, transportation, and export processing services. When you consider the effect on the Maritime Industry as a whole, Georgia's kaolin industry has created more than 550 jobs in the Savannah area".

Kaolin is mined and processed in the primarily rural counties of Middle Georgia between Macon and Augusta. It is used in large volumes in the manufacture of paper, paint, plastics, rubber, ceramics and fiberglass, as well as hundreds of other products.

The China Clay Producers Association is a trade association located at 4885 Riverside Drive; Suite 108; Macon, Georgia 31210, with the following member companies: Dry Branch Kaolin Co., Dry Branch, Ga.; ECC International, Sandersville, Ga.; Engelhard Corp., Gordon, Ga.; J. M. Huber Corp., Macon, Ga.; and Thiele Kaolin Co., Sandersville, Ga.


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