A critical aluminum plant remains closed in southeastern Missouri’s Marston as state and federal leaders look for ways to get it reopened.

Magnitude 7 Metals laid off its workers January 28th, citing unusually cold weather and a lack of financial investment to keep the plant open. Mag 7 is located in the district of southeastern Missouri Congressman Jason Smith. He said they’re looking into every possible option to reopen Mag 7 – and save the roughly 500 jobs.

“I saw it when it was under Noranda and it closed, and we did everything we could to try to help get it reopened because hundreds of people lost their jobs,” Smith told Missourinet. “We’re seeing the issue right now. Hopefully people will see the importance of investing in Southeast Missouri.”

Missouri U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, meanwhile, sent a letter to President Joe Biden before the closure, asking that Biden invoke the Defense Production Act to keep the aluminum plant open, but that hasn’t happened yet. Smith told Missourinet he’s also pushing the Biden Administration to reopen the plant.

“The aluminum that’s smelted – and has been smelted in Southeast Missouri – is used for our military arsenal. It’s 100% purity. It’s something that’s not done in many places,” he said. “We need to make sure that we’re not relying on foreign countries for the supplies that help defend our military.”

Magnitude 7 Metals produced about 20% of the aluminum made in the United States before cutting operations on January 28.

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