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WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – Can you name the 40th element on the periodic table?

If you said Zirconium, congratulations, you’re probably a chemist.

But, Zirconium plays a vital role in everything from ship propellers, to ceramics, to artificial knees.

The United States imports nearly all of its Zirconium.

Most of it comes for China, but a local company is working to change that.

There is a zircon sand mine in Georgia, and Southern Ionics, headquartered in West Point, aims to process it at a manufacturing facility in Pierce County, Georgia.

That facility should be finished by next June. Thursday (8-15), Southern Ionics C-E-O Milton Sundbeck spoke to the West Point Rotary Club about how zircon and titanium mineral mining will help his business grow stronger than ever.

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