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Pacer Minerals - South Dakota mining company has world-wide success

Pacer Minerals has been in business for decades. For over 75 years, the industrial mining company has ground mica and feldspar and shipped it throughout the world.

The products that are extracted from two mines on the edge of Custer, along with exceptional business practices, makes Pacer Minerals one of the leading manufacturers in the U.S.A.

Once mined and processed, high quality potash feldspar is used in ceramics, paints, sealants, and sanitary whiteware such as countertops and toilets. The potassium feldspar from Custer is even used by a national chain dinnerware manufacturer. The processed mica goes into oil and drilling wells as well as paints, plastics, and other building materials.

Pacer Minerals employs approximately 20 individuals between the plant and the mines, shipping out finished product daily, totaling eight to 10 tons a year.

Ryan Fredsall, general manager of Pacer, said that Pacer’s economic impact on the area is very important. He noted too that the impact to the community extends to other businesses.

“We provide employment in the Custer area. Other services are used from trucking to restaurants and so much more,” he explained. “Pacer has been able to exist because it uses a product. We are supporting the greater area with regards to parts for heavy equipment. We try to purchase supplies locally as much as possible.”

Automation at Pacer began in late 2018. As they continue to upgrade at the company, they try to add automation into their business.

“Some equate automation to job reduction but that is not it. Automation makes jobs easier, reduces the chances of accidents, and keeps employees engaged,” Fredsall said.

Fredsall, who has been in the mining industry for years, explained that he and his family moved from North Carolina strictly for his position at Pacer.

“We really like South Dakota,” he said. “And we are here to stay.”

South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development

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