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By JACK WEATHERLY

The Weir Group, a Glasgow, Scotland-based mining equipment manufacturer, announced Wednesday that it is investing $15 million in its Newton manufacturing facility as part of a $50 million plan supporting an additional 150 jobs at the plant.

When the investment plan is complete, employment will increase to more than 400 workers, a 60 percent increase from 2016.

“Mississippi is a strong manufacturing state, and prominent companies like the Weir Group and its ESCO division in Newton know our workforce is one of the best in the world. Workers strive every day to produce world-class products like Weir’s quality mining equipment for its global consumers,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a news release.

The Newton facility, one of Weir’s largest manufacturing operations, produces ground engaging tools for mining and infrastructure needs. The expansion is slated to be complete by August.

“We chose to increase our investment in Newton because it is home to highly skilled people who are passionate about producing world-class products.  The equipment we make in Mississippi is exported around the world and the increased demand from our mining and infrastructure customers gives us great confidence in the future,” said Weir Group Chief Executive Jon Stanton.

The Mississippi Development Authority is providing $100,000 for work-force training, as well as statutory tax exemptions.

Approximately 80 percent of the products manufactured at the Newton facility are exported, making Weir’s ESCO division the world’s leading supplier of ground engaging tools for the mining industry. The facility began operations in Newton in 1971.

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