Founded in 2014, the goal of Urban Mining Company (UMC) is to transform the world’s supply of rare earth magnets by developing the fastest, most practical, and cost-competitive path to manufacturing using alternative resources that are not dependent on China and less costly on the environment. Rare earth magnets are critical components used in high-tech industrial, automotive, clean energy, and military-defense applications. UMC is the only producer of its kind in the U.S.
UMC, which had outgrown their 10,000 SF laboratory near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. UMC had a desire to expand and stay within the Austin area. However, the high cost of real estate in Austin became a major challenge as they explored options. The solution was found in the most southern portion of the Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) – San Marcos, Texas.
With a workforce of almost one million within a 30-mile radius, UMC found the talent needed to fulfill their labor needs, ranging from educated engineers to skilled manufacturers. According to the office of the president at Texas State University, approximately 50% of its graduates continue to live in the region after graduation.
UMC was also attracted by the potential to work with or benefit from Texas State University and its engineering and science programs, which are just a few miles away from the facility. This potential has opened doors for new research, additional testing and improved products.
The City of San Marcos and Hays County both voted in favor of entering into performance-based Chapter 380/381 Agreements with Urban Mining Company that include a ten-year personal property tax rebate at 75 percent and a ten-year real property tax rebate at 25 percent.
UMC converted 10 acres, found on Clovis Barker Road, into the site of its new, 100,000 square foot state-of-the-art rare earth magnet manufacturing facility and headquarters.
The positive economic impact of the deal is expected to provide a tax base boost of over $900K to the City of San Marcos, nearly $620K to Hays County, and $1.3 million to the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District by the expiration of the 10-year agreement.
UMC has followed through on their job potential, adding up to 100 jobs at their facility. UMC produces 250+ tons of neodymium magnets each year and stands as a prime example of the Texas Innovation Corridor.