Pacer to ‘pause’ operations

Jason Ferguson

Pacer Corporation has laid off the majority of its 22 employees and will pause operations as it “evaluates the best course of action” as it responds to both current and future economic realities, said Pacer general manager Ryan Fredsall.
Fredsall said Pacer ownership informed him of the plan to pause operations around Oct. 27, and the layoffs began almost immediately. The employees were informed of the decision at a called meeting. The laid off employees will not receive a severance package.
Fredsall stressed the pause is not a closing of Pacer altogether, but a pause to evaluate how to move forward.
At the time of the decision Pacer Corporation was still grinding and milling feldspar and mica. It had expanded some into the development of other products, as well. Fredsall said Pacer had not experienced a precipitous decline in the demand for any of its products prior to the pause.
Pacer will maintain a small crew of two to four people, including Fredsall, who will do minimal operations, such as winterizing and monitoring the building. Fredsall said he did not know how long the smaller crew would remain at the facility.
“It was pretty sudden, I think,” he said of learning of the plant’s pause.
In May 2021 the Chronicle had a story about Pacer’s plans for expansion, in which a coarser grade of feldspar was touted. That, Fredsall said at the time, opened up the market into possibilities of providing the new product for manufacturers of insulation and tile, two of the biggest consumers of coarser feldspar.
The feldspar processed at the plant went into such things as ceramics, sanitary ware and insulators, while the mica went into sealants. One of Pacer’s bigger products, Loss Circulation Material, was added to drilling fluids when they are being lost to the formations downhole when drilling for oil.

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