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Wilkinson Minerals to triple its investment in Bay City salt brine mining operation



BAY CITY, MI – A mineral extraction company announced that it is planning to substantially increase its investment in Bay City.


Wilkinson Minerals and representatives from the City of Bay City and Bay Future announced during Bay Future’s annual meeting on Wednesday, April 21 that the mining would be tripling its investment in Bay City while bringing more jobs to the area to operate a salt brine mining operation along the Saginaw River.

Wilkinson Minerals was originally planning on investing $50 million into Bay City to start up it operations there. However, that initial amount was blown out of the water during the recent announcement at Bay Future’s annual meeting that the company’s planned investment amount shot up to $150 million.

“It’s a type of project that we would in any instance be extremely excited about and shout from the rooftops, but to double and even triple that investment over the type of year that we’ve had in our community is really something that needs to be celebrated, it’s really something that we need to talk about,” said Trevor Keyes, president & CEO of Bay Future. “For a company like this who wants to be a part of the community to be making that type of investment, it’s something that we’re really excited about.”

Bay City Manager Dana Muscott had previously announced in February 2020 that Bay City will be the new home to the company during 2020 State of Community address. Muscott announced during the address that the company purchased property at 101 Picard St. in Bay City, east of Independence Bridge along the Saginaw River.

“We’re looking to bring over 80 new jobs to Bay City,” said Chris Thoms, engineering and construction manager for Wilkinson Minerals. “Different jobs like chemical operators, chemists, sales, marketing, and more. These are all great jobs for this community. They’re great paying jobs and I’m excited to bring jobs that are going to be here for a long time and are going to impact multiple generations.”

This investment increases the current total of capital expenditure in Bay County in 2020 to $189 Million and increases new job totals to over 225 throughout the county, according to Bay Future.


The 20+ acre riverfront site is one of the few places in North America where the brine that Wilkinson is seeking exists, said Bay Future. The Bay City Times previously that the property is located over a large deposit of calcium chloride brine in what is called the Sylvania sandstone formation.

Wilkinson Minerals selected the Bay City site because of its proximity to the Saginaw River and the resulting easy access to the Great Lakes for shipping their products.


“This will be the second-largest producer in North America… Even if the brine wasn’t here, the experience working with the community, with Bay Future, the City of Bay City, the City of Essexville, and Bay County, would have brought us here anyway because it’s been that good of an experience,” said Wilkinson Minerals President Rick Billings.

The property is actively being cleared with plans to have the plant up and running by late 2023 to early 2024, according to Bay Future.


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