Magnesium (“Mg”) is recognized as a metal of the future with demand projected to increase by 5% each year for the next five years. Currently, China produces more than 80% of the world’s supply using an environmentally unfriendly and labour-intensive technology (the Pidgeon Process). High countervailing duties have restricted the use of Chinese magnesium in the U.S. Therefore, with only one active magnesium manufacturer in North America (US Magnesium in Salt Lake City, Utah), and with a growing U.S. demand, there is a need for a stable, efficient and high-capacity North American magnesium producer.
Because electrolytic methods for magnesium production typically require capital expenditures (CAPEX) in excess of US$1 billion to achieve a 100,000 tonnes/year (t/y) capacity, Mag One’s strategy is to use its proprietary, modular thermal technology to initially produce 5,000-10,000 t/y for an estimated CAPEX of US$20-35 Million, and then ramp up production to 100,000 t/y with a CAPEX target of no more than US$400M.
This approach is designed to rapidly secure offtake agreements and bring revenues and profits into the company as quickly as possible so that these funds can be re-invested in the operation and future expansion of production to the target level of 100,000 t/y.
In addition to a high CAPEX, conventional electrolytic processes have difficulty achieving greater than 99.8% magnesium purity, operating costs less than US$2200/tonne (even in low-cost electrical energy jurisdictions). In contrast, Mag One’s target is to produce magnesium thermally at a cost less than US$1400/tonne. Moreover, because the Mag One process has a low carbon footprint, produces very little nonhazardous waste material, and yields very sellable byproducts/compounds.
Mag One’s ultimate aim is to produce magnesium at a cost that is close to the cost of producing aluminum and produce its commercially viable compounds (such as MgO for the Company’s Magboards, and essential first ingredient for Mg Metal processing). This would expand markets for magnesium not only in North America, but also across the world. .
Mag One has secured access to 50 million tonnes of serpentinite ore that contains ~23 wt. % Mg (as well as 18% Silicon and 0.23% Nickel). This rock has already been mined and is sitting ongrade in large terraces. It is estimated that approximately ~US$7.50 of ore is needed to produce one tonne of magnesium.
The Mag One plant will be located at the most optimum possible location in North America (Danville, Quebec). The site is on road, on rail, fully-serviced, and surrounded by an experienced and available workforce. Electricity rates are among the lowest in North America, and most importantly, the plant site is situated adjacent to the tailings.
The innovative patented technologies and trade secrets to process Mg ore have resulted from a decade-long research program undertaken by James G. Blencoe, Ph.D., and employees of his company, Orion Laboratories, located near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in east Tennessee. The ore from the Danville site has been successfully tested and shown that it will produce high-purity Mg metal.
The first phase of the Business Plan is to construct a full-scale, 5,000 tonne/year modular plant that will be used as the ”unit model” for expansion. As sales grow, additional 5,000 tonne/year modules will be built (adjoining each other). The targeted CAPEX of each 5,000 tonne/year module is $20 million.
Mag One Products Inc. is a technology, processing and production company, concentrating on three initial projects, (all based on a site in Quebec, next to the serpentinite tailings):
Mag One’s mission is to become the lowest cost and most environmentally friendly producer of magnesium (Mg) metal ingots and ultra-pure magnesium compounds.
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