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News in brief

September 9, 2021 at 1:46 a.m.

Vanadium processor buys plant in Benton

U.S. Vanadium has purchased a materials processing facility in Benton that will help the company expand its production in Hot Springs of high-purity vanadium and related products, the company said Wednesday.

The Benton facility at 6105 Cynamide Road has been owned for years by Saint-Gobain, a French multinational near Paris.

U.S. Vanadium in 2019 made a vanadium-processing plant near Hot Springs its flagship operation with an investment of more than $8 million. It has been using the Benton facility under a contract with with Saint-Gobain, Jim Sims, a spokesman for U.S. Vanadium, said.

The Benton plant will "grind and roast" vanadium feedstock from post-industrial waste streams, particularly from overseas mining and oil-and-gas operations, for further chemical processing in Hot Springs to make large-scale electrical-grid batteries, the company said.

The Benton plant has 18 full-time employees and four part timers. The Hot Springs plant has 56 employees, Sims said.

-- Stephen Steed

Program aims to lift women in business

Several Arkansas organizations announced Wednesday that they are joining forces to offer a mentoring program that focuses on opportunities for female entrepreneurs.

Application deadline for the Woman Rise initiative is Oct. 8. The program will give women an opportunity to strengthen leadership skills and improve professional growth capabilities. Applications for mentors as well as entrepreneurs are being accepted.

"Navigating barriers to starting a business can feel impossible to even the most tenacious entrepreneurs," said Mimi San Pedro, chief strategy officer for the Little Rock Venture Center. "For women, access to good mentors is a key to overcoming many difficult challenges."

The venture center will be joined in the program by Venture Noire, the Wright Lindsey Jennings law firm, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Arkansas Capital Corp., which targets lending to small businesses.

The program will match mentors with about 20 participants, who will compete for up to $10,000 in the yearlong effort. More information and applications are available at

-- Andrew Moreau

Day's drop of 4.98 puts index at 662.36

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Wednesday at 662.36, down 4.98.

"The S&P 500 Index fell for a third-consecutive day as the energy and materials sectors underperformed on increasing concerns from investors regarding the economic growth outlook," said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Print Headline: Vanadium processor buys plant in Benton


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