OMYA Open House: A peek inside the Superior plant

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

xPhoto Mar 22, 11 52 03 AM.jpg

By Mila Besich-Lira

On Saturday, OMYA opened their doors to the public for a tour and open house of their facilities. OMYA is a leading global producer of industrial minerals that come from calcium carbonate.

The company has 100 locations in 50 countries and they have 7,000 employees worldwide. The blue and white building that sits at the north end of the industrial park off of US 60 is the home to OMYA Worldwide, and the OMYA plant in Superior has 14 full time employees.

The Superior OMYA operation processes the calcium carbonate for food and pharmaceutical products. The plant has an FDA Certification and is also Kosher certified.

Everything from toothpaste, cereal, gum and even orange juice contains the mineral calcium carbonate and more than likely that mineral was processed right here in Superior. One of the their biggest customers is General Mills.

Calcium carbonate, or CaCO3, comprises more than four percent of the earth’s crust and is found throughout the world, according to the Industrial Minerals Association of North America. Its most common natural forms are chalk, limestone, and marble, produced by the sedimentation of the shells of small fossilized snails, shellfish, and coral over millions of years.

Although all three forms are identical in chemical terms, they differ in many other respects, including purity, whiteness, thickness and homogeneity. Calcium carbonate is one of the most useful and versatile materials known to man.

While there are calcium carbonate mines near Superior the food grade quality mineral that is processed in Superior is shipped from California via trucks. The bright white rocks are separated on the outside of the facility and then dropped into the crusher.

Depending on the type of calcium carbonate needed the machinery in the plant is operated through a computer system. The computer system then tells the machinery how fine or coarse to process the materials.

Once the order is processed it is packaged and prepared for shipment all within the facility. Robotics also play a large role in the packaging of the materials. Once packaged, the materials are warehoused at the facility until the material is picked up for shipment to the end user. The product is transported throughout the US but is also sent overseas via ship containers to food producers overseas. To conserve energy, the company operates most of the machinery at night and has very little waste in their operations.

Prior to the housing and construction slowdown the Superior OMYA plant also processed industrial grade materials from local calcium carbonate mines. The local pit near Superior is just off US 60 north of the Oak Flats.

In addition to offering the tours of the plant, visitors also had the opportunity to learn more about minerals and geology. One of the displays showed how an ordinary rock to the naked eye really has more to see when put under ultraviolet light. Once put under these lights the rocks would glow as minerals such as magnesium, dolomite, molybdenum and even small traces of uranium could be seen.

In the lobby of the offices for OMYA were bright colorful advertisements for toothpaste. Recently OMYA conducted a science workshop at the elementary school which taught the students how to make toothpaste. Each classroom then prepared a poster to advertise their new toothpaste product. Guests to the open house were able to vote for their favorite poster.

Lunch was provided to those visiting the plant, supplies for the lunch were donated by OMYA and were prepared by the Superior High School DECA club. Guests were asked to make a donation to the club for preparing the food.

OMYA Worldwide has been in operation in Superior since 2000. OMYA was one of the first tenants in the Superior Industrial Park after the park was completed. The industrial park was built with partnerships with BHP, the Town of Superior and the United States Economic Development Administration.

See photos from the OMYA Open House

online at

xPhoto Mar 22, 12 31 16 PM.jpg
xPhoto Mar 22, 12 38 51 PM.jpg

admin (7706 Posts)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    DPS Encourages all Motorists to Drive Courteously This Holiday Season

    December 23rd, 2013

    Arizona – The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), through its Highway Patrol Division, encourages all travelers to drive with […]

    Arvel Bird At the Arboretum New Year’s Day Concert at noon

    December 19th, 2013

    Here’s a resolution you’ll find easy to keep: spend New Year’s Day outdoors at one of Arizona’s most scenic venues, […]

    Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction visited San Carlos Secondary School

    December 2nd, 2013

    John Huppenthal, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction visited San Carlos Secondary School, one of the Cobre Valley Institute of Technology’s […]

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    November 28th, 2013

    Copper Area News would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving! Please remember to drive safely this holiday weekend. For […]

  • Additional Stories

    Attention all Potential Candidates! Campaign Finance Seminar is Coming Up

    November 27th, 2013

    Florence- Believe it or not, the 2014 campaign cycle will soon be here. Secretary of State Ken Bennett will be […]

    Governor Jan Brewer Announces $7.6 Million Grant to Fund New State Veterans Cemetery in Marana

    November 26th, 2013

    Phoenix– Governor Jan Brewer today announced the Arizona Department of Veterans Services has been awarded a $7.6 million federal grant […]

    Ray Unified School District Winter Festival Concert

    November 26th, 2013

    Kearny- On Thurs., Dec. 12, at 7 pm the Ray Unified School District Band program will be holding its Winter […]

    Pinal County Offices to be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving Holiday

    November 26th, 2013

    Florence- Pinal County governmental offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 28 and 29, for the Thanksgiving holiday. […]

  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger