National New Markets Fund Expands in Southern U.S. With Investment in Nation's
First-of-Its-Kind E-Waste Recycling Facility
New Markets Tax Credit Investment Will Help Rebuild Severely
Distressed Region and Transform How E-Waste Is Treated in the U.S.
OSCEOLA, AR -- (Marketwired) -- 07/31/14 -- National New Markets
Fund LLC has closed $15 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC)
allocation to help finance equipment for the first urban mining
refinery in the U.S. capable of retrieving high-value metals
including gold, silver, copper and palladium from electronic waste.
An estimated 40 million tons of such e-waste is discarded globally
each year, with only about 13 percent currently undergoing some form
of recycling: The rest winds up in the trash.
Built and operated by BlueOak Resources Inc., the new facility will
be located in Osceola, Arkansas -- a highly distressed rural area
with a 44.3% poverty rate and 12.7% unemployment rate. It is
scheduled to become operational by the end of 2015 and expected to
create 75 high-paying permanent jobs with extensive training and
salaries averaging $50,000 per year.
"Our NMTC investment in BlueOak will help create high-quality jobs
and transform a part of Arkansas ranked consistently among the
poorest regions in the nation," said National New Markets Fund
President Deborah La Franchi. "It will also create a new, vastly
superior model for solving one of our most acute environmental
E-waste is a rapidly growing problem as demand increases worldwide
for cell phones, computers and other electronic devices. The dumping
of such waste represents an ecological disaster, especially in
developing countries where it is often sent to be salvaged in unsafe,
environmentally-devastating conditions. In addition, dumping results
in the loss of millions of tons of precious metals (gold, copper,
silver and palladium) and other resources.
The $15 million New Markets Tax Credit allocation from Los
Angeles-based National New Markets Fund was matched by a $15 million
allocation from Arkansas-based Heartland Renaissance Fund. U.S. Bank
served as the project's tax credit investor.
"The New Markets Tax Credit program was critical in making this
project a reality," said Priv Bradoo, CEO and co-founder of BlueOak.
"It will enable us to realize a tremendous opportunity, both in
recovering value from rapidly growing electronic scrap streams as
well as the creation of jobs within the Osceola community."
La Franchi emphasized that the new facility, with its very advanced,
environmentally-friendly technology, has the potential to become a
"game changer" by creating what she described as "a new paradigm for
how e-waste is managed in the United States." Once the new facility
is operational, BlueOak plans to focus on expanding its prototype
National New Markets Fund CEO Belden Hull Daniels added, "Having
known Osceola's poverty from many years of working in the Arkansas
Delta, we are proud to finance this exciting project and help create
jobs, wealth and a cleaner, more environmentally sustainable solution
In addition to recycling precious metals, operations at BlueOak will
reduce the need to mine for virgin ore, which is expensive and has
detrimental environmental impacts. It will also reduce the shipment
of e-waste to developing countries, where it is often picked apart
over open pit fires in order to melt away plastic and obtain precious
metals, with terrible environmental impacts.
"We seek out these highly innovative models that have far-reaching
positive impacts," said Joe Hennessee, project manager of U.S.
Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the community development
subsidiary of U.S. Bank. "BlueOak has the potential to not only
benefit the environment through efficient e-waste management, but
also greatly benefit the residents of Osceola."
New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) were established by Congress in 2000
to stimulate investment and economic growth in designated low-income
communities. They raise investor capital and leverage public and
private funding to provide borrowers, like BlueOak, with financing in
the form of favorable rates and flexible below-market terms. Such
financing will enable BlueOak to build a new model for recycling
e-waste in the U.S., while also creating new employment
About National New Markets Fund
Deborah La Franchi of Strategic
Development Solutions (SDS) and Belden Hull Daniels of Economic
Innovation International, Inc. co-founded the National New Markets
Fund to invest in development projects that serve low income
communities across the U.S. The Fund has received $312 million in
National New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation from CDFI and
invested in 27 projects to date. As a mission-driven investment fund,
NNMF seeks investments that create substantial economic and community
development impacts. Visit
more information on NNMF projects.
About U.S. Bancorp
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $364 billion in
assets as of Dec. 31, 2013, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the
fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The company
operates 3,081 banking offices in 25 states and 4,906 ATMs. It
provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance,
investment, mortgage, and trust and payment services products to
consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web
About BlueOak Resources Inc.
BlueOak, is focused on building
distributed mini-refineries that use proven, capital-efficient
refining processes to recover high-value metal resources from
e-waste. The company's vision is to revolutionize the treatment of
end of life electronics: converting the e-waste of today into a
sustainable source of critical metals and rare earths for the
technologies of tomorrow. More information is available at
ExcelPR Group (for NNMF)
(323) 851-2300 x112
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