How Does It Feel To Own Ocean-Front Property?

Old Beaches Providing New Economic Boost to the Okefenokee Region

By Derby Waters, Okefenokee Living Magazine, Winter 2018

You might have never thought of it, but chances are if you live in South Georgia, you live on ocean-front property. It’s just that the ocean was here millions of years ago. And while you may not see the surf rolling in, that sandy soil left beneath you may still be very valuable.

You see, for millions of years, the Appalachian Mountains have been wearing down. And all those tons that have been carved out of those higher elevations have washed down to create the land we live on. There on those beaches of eons ago, the soils and minerals from the highlands were deposited along what was then the coastline. As the oceans rose and receded, the beaches moved and finally moved to where they are today. And some of what was left in the sands along those stretches of ancient beach is really valuable today.

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Credit: Okefenokee Living Magazine

The Blackshear Times

November 15, 2017

SOUTHERN IONICS MINERALS HAS IMMEDIATE JOB OPENINGS HERE (Please share!) Looking for a job close to home that offers opportunity, good pay and benefits? Southern Ionics Minerals (SIM), the company that operates a mineral separation plant in Pierce County and a mine in Charlton County is on the hunt for qualified candidates, according to company officials. “Southern Ionics’ 140 employees fill a variety of important functions, from equipment operators to field crew to technical specialists,” said Stuart Forrester, SIM President. “Our continued success depends upon a strong and dedicated workforce of diverse people. We expect the next few years to bring growth, and we need more quality people to get us there. Our preference is to hire locally or attract people back to the area.” Southern Ionics is currently looking for people to fill four positions at the Pierce County and Charlton County locations: • Electricians – Pierce and Charlton CountiesProcurement Coordinator – Pierce CountyMaintenance Planner – Pierce CountyMining Engineer – Charlton County. The company is always accepting applications for haul truck drivers and heavy equipment operators as well, said Forrester. Anyone interested in joining the SIM team should contact them by email at

They May Be Slow, But They Are Moving In

The story of the gopher tortoise and its race for a big new home

BY DERBY WATERS, The Press-Sentinel, Jesup, GA

Suppose you came home from work one day to find some field mice, a possum, two armadillos, several small lizards, a couple of diamondback rattlesnakes or maybe an 8-foot indigo snake lounging around in your living room.

Maybe not all at once, but such a gathering would not alarm the state reptile of Georgia, better known as Gopherus polyphemus, gopher tortoise—or just a plain old gopher. In fact, the gopher’s burrows are known to be used at one time or another by at least 360 species of animals that scientists call commensals.

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Pulling For The Tortoise Is In Our Best Interest

Jesup Press-Sentinel Editorial

For thousands of years the gopher tortoise has made its home in the sandy soils of the coastal plains of Georgia and other Southern states. Somewhere along the line, its right to be here was recognized when it was named the official reptile of the state of Georgia.

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Southern Ionics Minerals Will Move Headquarters To Pierce County as New President Looks To Future Growth

Southern Ionics Minerals Will Move Headquarters To Pierce County as New President Looks To Future Growth
Southern Ionics Minerals will move headquarters to pierce county as new president looks to future growth

Offerman, Georgia – Southern Ionics Minerals, LLC will move its headquarters to Offerman, Ga. and expand its operations, bringing more economic development opportunities to southeast Georgia, according to the company’s new president.

Stuart Forrester, newly appointed president of Southern Ionics Minerals, LLC, foresees a greater presence in southeast Georgia with increased mineral development activities. The relocation of Southern Ionics’ headquarters from Jacksonville, Fla., to Offerman, Ga. underscores the area’s importance to the mineral sands company.

Forrester, a native of Western Australia, joined Southern Ionics Minerals in April of 2017. He has 15 years of experience in the mining industry and most recently oversaw Iluka’s mineral sand operations in Virginia.

“I’m really excited to join Southern Ionics Minerals and relocate to Georgia with my young family. We have an outstanding team and an innovative approach to mining and reclamation. There’s tremendous opportunity to bring long-term prosperity to rural southeast Georgia by developing these natural resources,” Forrester explained.

An early direction, along with moving the company’s headquarters to Pierce County, is to increase purchases from local vendors and suppliers. Forrester said the local communities have been very supportive. “Currently, we source about 56% of our goods and services from Georgia-based businesses, and we’d like to increase that amount. The local contractors and vendors are of the highest quality.”

The company has become an important economic influence in Pierce, Charlton, and Brantley counties, where it currently employs approximately 140 people and has strong relationships with many local businesses.

Milton Sundbeck, the founder of Southern Ionics Minerals and its parent company Southern Ionics Inc. reiterated the company’s commitment to south Georgia. “We’ve worked hard to operate responsibly and earn the community’s trust. We want to be here for decades to come.” Priority will also be given to developing new products, utilizing new mining technology, and opening new mines, he said.

Opening new mines is critical to meeting that long-term commitment. In the next month Southern Ionics Minerals will apply for a permit for a mine next to its existing Mission Mine. Additionally, the company is investigating other potential mining locations. “The mineral sand deposits of southeast Georgia constitute a world-class resource. The deposits are well-known, but we have to conduct extensive evaluation and environmental assessment to determine which ones can be economically developed,” said Forrester.

Southern Ionics Minerals began mining mineral sand deposits in 2014. Its facilities include an administrative office in Jacksonville, a mining office in Brantley County, the Mission South Mine in Charlton County, and a mineral separation processing plant in Pierce County. Sand extracted at the mine is transported to the plant where titanium and zirconium mineral sands are sold to companies that manufacture pigments and paints, aircraft engines, medical devices, welding rods, and other products.

Georgia Trend Magazine

 July 2015

Mineral Sands Report

 January 2014