Imerys, a worldwide company focused on mineral processing, announced that the company will reorganize its Dimension Stone operations in Georgia. The Dimension Stone Division has been financially struggling for several years to return to profitability.

As part of the reorganization, Imerys will exit the granite business and close its Elberton, GA, operation effective this month. Approximately 34 employees will be affected by this decision.

Subject to bargaining with the union, Imerys has tentatively decided to exit the structural and specialty memorial businesses at its Nelson, GA, plant and its Tate, GA, plant while continuing to operate a portion of the Tate facility that includes the Veterans Administration headstone line, the quarry and the crusher. The Laborer's International Union of North America, an AFL-CIO affiliate, represents the 98 union workers at the Tate and Nelson facilities.

Imerys' overall strategy includes seeking buyers for its Dimension Stone assets. Ray Barker, Director of Human Resources commented, "The employees have worked very hard in an effort to keep these plants operating. There is a long and proud tradition of craftsmanship at the Dimension Stone Division, but the investment required to continue the operation of these plants in their current forms and remain competitive is not justified by the economic perspectives of the business."

Barker added, "The Dimension Stone Division has been a part of the fabric of its communities for many years. Imerys will work with the employees as well as the affected communities in the coming months in an effort to minimize the impact of this transition."

The Dimension Stone operation was founded in 1884. Imerys acquired Georgia Marble, including the Dimension Stone business, in 1995. No other Imerys facilities, including the Marble Hill operation, are impacted by this decision.

Customer questions and inquiries regarding potential purchase of the Dimension Stone assets should be directed to 770-645-3493.