A Name That Defines
Arcilla, the Spanish word for clay, is a company that truly lives up to its name. The operation primarily mines for kaolin — a soft white clay used in the manufacturing of a number of products, including fiberglass, plastics, paper, rubber, paint, ceramics and even medicinal products.
For Arcilla, the relationship between mining and land is a priority for the company. “There are a lot of contractors who can go out and buy equipment and trucks,” says Ted Smith, owner of Arcilla Mining & Land Company, LLC. “What separates us from the rest of the industry is that we own or lease the land and the minerals, and we are committed to turning it back into something good.”
To start, Arcilla Mining and Land Company drills with its own rigs, has its own testing capabilities, and completes Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permitting via in-house resources. It’s a big responsibility that requires the work of some big machines. “We do all in-house stripping and in-house loading with mostly Volvo construction equipment,” says Smith. “We actually haul it away ourselves with a fleet of 65 trucks. And when the kaolin is fully mined, we begin the land reclamation process.”
Arcilla’s dedicated reclamation process is focused on fully restoring land and rebuilding the local vegetation and ecology. “We return the land to as good if not better use than it was before we started,” says Smith. “We’re completing a reclamation right now that will have an extremely gorgeous fish pond nestled on a 60-acre tract.”