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Rockwood Press Release

For Immediate Distribution
October 5, 2010

Download this document as a Word file (112k)

Timothy McKenna
Phone: 609-734-6430

Thomas Krause

Rockwood Initiates Lithium Hydroxide
Expansion in North Carolina

Kings Mountain expansion funded by
50% matching grant from Department of Energy

Kings Mountain, North Carolina USA (October 5, 2010) – Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ROC) today announced that the expansion of its lithium production operation in Kings Mountain, NC, is proceeding from preparation to construction. The project is funded in part by a $28.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to expand and upgrade the production of lithium materials for advanced transportation batteries.

The plant is being built at the existing Chemetall Foote Kings Mountain production site. When completed, the expansion will be a state-of-the-art facility to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide. Currently the site produces other lithium salts and lithium metal for primary batteries. Previous to the lithium hydroxide expansion project, the company purchased most of the major equipment and began site preparation work. Major civil and mechanical work at the site will begin after issuance of the recently completed environmental assessment. Chemetall Foote is a subsidiary of Rockwood Holdings.

Commenting on the expansion plan, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) said, “Chemetall Foote is at the forefront of advanced battery technology. This Recovery Act grant will give the company the resources to increase the quality of lithium for next-generation batteries, which will create high-tech manufacturing jobs in our state. This funding is an investment in battery technology that will help power electric cars and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil."

As of July 2010, 35 new jobs have been created either at Chemetall Foote or contractors directly working on projects for the site. During the peak of construction in 2011, the project will employ 68 additional people by the company and its contractors. At the conclusion of the project in 2012 the expansion will have created 22 permanent jobs bringing the total site headcount to approximately 130.

The DOE grant funding is provided under the Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative (DE-FOA-0000026) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) that provides up to approximately $2 billion in federal stimulus funding to support the creation of American jobs while promoting the development of U.S.-based advanced battery production for the EDV market.

Chemetall is the world's leading manufacturer of lithium-based compounds and an innovative developer of metal-based fine chemicals for use in specialty applications. Chemetall's lithium-based compounds are used in a variety of high growth applications, including base chemicals for numerous industries, drug intermediates, elastomers for car tires and rubber soles, lithium batteries, thermoplastic materials and high performance greases. Chemetall has lithium production facilities in the United States, Chile, Germany and Taiwan.

Chemetall is part of Rockwood Holdings, Inc., a leading global specialty chemicals and advanced materials company. Rockwood has a worldwide employee base of approximately 9,500 people and annual net sales of approximately $3 billion. The company focuses on global niche segments of the specialty chemicals, pigments and additives and advanced materials markets. For more information on Rockwood, please visit

The information set forth in this press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 concerning the business, operations and financial condition of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates ("Rockwood"). Words such as "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "forecasts," "predicts" and variations of such words or expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although Rockwood believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that its expectations will be realized. "Forward-looking statements" consist of all non-historical information, including any statements referring to the prospects and future performance of Rockwood. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in Rockwood's forward-looking statements due to numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, the "Risk Factors" described in Rockwood's 2009 Form 10-K on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Rockwood does not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which any such statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.