TN landowners lease land to titanium company for profit

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT
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HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. (WSMV) - Technology we use daily like phones, electric vehicles and even airplanes are made out of titanium.

It’s a mineral usually imported from Russia and China. But one company called IperionX found out the largest source of titanium in North America is in Tennessee.

It takes a lot of time, effort and concentration to meticulously extract titanium from sand. It’s gathered from pools of water dug up in people’s backyards.

“We already had the land. They’re not damaging the land,” said Tim Sanders, who leased acres of land to IperionX. “We are happy to be a part of it actually.”

“This could be the Saudi Arabia of titanium out here,” said Taso Arima, CEO and Founder of IperionX. His company is on the search for titanium, a useless material 30 years ago.

“We are moving to sustainable methods of transportation and the electrification of everything,” Arima said. “That is a huge proponent of what could be produced here.”

Once all the titanium is extracted from the site, Arima said the company will fill up the hole and bring it back to what it was.

“Our vision is to leave the land in a better place than what we found it,” he said.

It’s not mining, Arima said — it’s a sustainable way to gather a new kind of gold.

IperionX expects to bring 200 jobs to Tennessee, but they anticipate that number to grow.

“That’s everything from equipment operators ... through to accountants,” Arima said.

“What you got going on behind you is a few local guys dug that pit,” Sanders added. “That’s a local job; the trucking. They are going to need workers and anything you can think of it will come locally.

IperionX is also working with the University of Tennessee to bring agriculture students to the site and teach them about the sustainability and importance of titanium.

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