Western Magnesium Corporation plans to expand its operations with the construction of a commercial plant and a Research & Development Centre in Nevada. The facility will have an initial production of 25,000 tonnes per year. The company will also be relocating its West head office to the new location.
Nevada was selected as the site for the expansion after careful consideration and analysis of different sites within other Western U.S. states. The company chose the location due to its dry arid climate, which will be idea for the secure stockpiling of magnesium metal ingot. It also aligns with Western Magnesium’s plans for the development of its own resource at the Tami Mosi site in Ely, Nevada, where it will obtain dolomite for processing into magnesium metal.
In addition, Nevada provides a favorable tax environment combined with an expedited licensing and approval process. The state also offers competitive utility rates, expanding infrastructure, an abundance of commercial real estate, and a highly educated workforce — all of which make it an ideal location to build the new plant.
In its announcement, the company stated:
Our technical and corporate team have spent the last eight months planning our expansion on the West Coast. Over the next six months, after the continuous operational runs are completed, the commercial pilot plant will be moved from its current site and moved to a new Research & Development facility giving us the ability for expanded production of magnesium metal and to develop new alloys and IP with the different industries we are currently in discussions with, such as the automotive, aerospace, airline, eco-friendly technology companies, and defense contractors. The new Research & Development facility will also help facilitate the buildout of the initial 25,000 metric tonne commercial plant in Nevada.
Western Magnesium utilizes a proprietary technology that involves silicothermic reduction in a continuous reactor for the production of low-cost, green magnesium metal from dolomite. Since initially producing magnesium metal in mid-2022, the company identified and completed a number of technical upgrades to its commercial pilot plant in order to increase reliability. It also enhances the company’s ability to have a full package solution for the licensing of its technology in the future.
“During the testing period, the Technical Team continues to be impressed with the proprietary equipment and software that has been developed,” said Paul Sauve, chief technology officer, Western Magnesium. “This gives us greater confidence and insight as we work with our engineering firms in planning the build out of the larger commercial facility.”
Ed Lee, executive chairman of the company added, “The proprietary technology and software, which has been built specifically for our green process, is truly one of a kind. Our technology represents America’s best chance at bringing production of the much sought after magnesium metal, which has been identified as a critical metal by both industry and government, back to the United States.”
These technical improvements set the stage for the plant’s continuous production phase, and Western Magnesium announced that it was ready to move forward with this final stage of continuous metal production on February 8, 2023.
Identifying Demand for Magnesium
Western Magnesium signed a definitive agreement with CCMA, LLC, under which the companies will work together to develop and identify demand for new magnesium alloys for various industries. Through the agreement, CCMA will secure 25,000 tonnes of magnesium metal from future production of Western Magnesium’s main plant.
Based in New York, CCMA is an independent and innovative trading house focused on metals, alloys, and other raw materials. The trading house will manage the global sales, logistics, financing, and marketing of Western Magnesium. CCMA will begin to secure purchase orders from their established client base in various industries for the magnesium metal samples produced from Western Magnesium’s commercial pilot plant. This will include securing magnesium metal and alloy supply from the company’s full-scale commercial facility, starting with end users in the U.S., such as the automotive, aluminum, die cast, and aerospace industries, as well as eco-friendly technology companies.
“This definitive agreement reflects the growing demand for magnesium metal within various industries, and CCMA’s desire to secure our future production shows this critical metal is in high demand and limited supply,” said Sam Ataya, executive president and chief executive officer of Western Magnesium. “By obtaining letters of intent to purchase product once full commercial production comes online, Western Magnesium can focus on the build-out of is commercial plant and being the main domestic supplier of ‘green’ magnesium metal for the U.S. military and industry.”