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Report: Colonial Metals Co. to open under new ownership

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A Columbia-based scrap metal foundry that closed last year has been acquired by a Los Angeles manufacturer and could open as early as May.

Colonial Metals Co. laid off its roughly 100 employees and shut its doors last June. The plant’s new owner, California Metal-X, intends to make the facility its first manufacturer operation on the East Coast, according to a story by trade publication Recycling Today. The California foundry was not immediately available for comment.

California Metal-X recently acquired the bankrupt plant, paying off its debt in the process, the article said.

The foundry is one of the largest properties in the borough and the closure took away a significant employer, according to Beverly Shank, executive director of the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“That site is an anchor to the borough of Columbia,” Shank said. “We now have an opportunity to reopen those jobs for people in the area.”

The California company currently produces 36 million pounds of products, including brass and bronze ingots. The acquisition could almost triple California Metal-X’s production of metal ingots, as the former Colonial Metals Co. plant made 60 million pounds of brass and bronze ingots annually before it closed.

The ingots are sold to manufacturers for processing into materials like locks, gears and other machinery.

President Tim Strelitz told Recycling Today that Colonial Metals Co.’s foundry is in good shape and is expected to reopen in May.

Ownership was silent on what caused the closure of Colonial Metals Co. after its employees were laid off last year. Leroy Atwater Jr., a representative of the United Steelworkers Union, told the Business Journal that workers were under the impression that the company was closing temporarily due to a decline in available scrap metal and would reopen.

A California Metal-X official is expected to contact the journal for further information tomorrow.

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Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis covers health care and Lancaster County. Email him at ipashakis@cpbj.com.

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