Mag One emerging ‘green’ magnesium producer

High-purity magnesium oxide. (Image courtesy of Mag One).

Market analyst Roskill issued a report this week stating that Canada’s Mag One is rapidly emerging as “another upcoming ‘green’ magnesium producer, joining the ranks of Latrobe Magnesium (LMG) and Alliance Magnesium (AMI).”

According to Roskill, the evaluation is based on the fact that Mag One has an exclusive worldwide license for the Tech Mag technology, owned by Tech Magnesium, and the right to acquire full ownership.

Mag One has said that it will have a very low carbon footprint of 5-8t CO2/t Mg, compared to 18t CO2 for electrolysis and 26t CO2 for the Pidgeon process

With this technology, the Vancouver-based company is planning to kickstart a magnesium oxide and magnesium metal operation, which will be extracted from tailings (serpentine). To do so, the firm has signed exclusive agreements to source tailings from two former asbestos mines in Québec.

Mag One aims to move to production during 2020 at a plant in Asbestos, a town in southeastern Québec, that will produce 30ktpy of MgO (98.5% purity), 33ktpy of high-purity amorphous silica, and 5.2ktpy (dry basis) of iron-nickel residue.

The proposed plant will use the company’s proprietary pyrometallurgical process based on high-purity MgO to produce 99.9% magnesium metal in repeatable 5ktpy modules. The maximum production capacity seems likely to be less than 20ktpy as this is the limit below which environmental evaluation is not required.

Magnesium is 75% lighter than steel and 33% lighter than aluminium, qualities that make it desirable for automakers aiming to decrease the weight of their vehicles without sacrificing strength.

Also playing in favour of Mag One is the fact that, in Roskill’s view, it is in a strong financial position.

“The company received a boost in January when it signed a definitive earn-in and operating agreement with Vancouver-based Blue Lagoon Resources to form a joint venture,” the report reads. “Blue Lagoon may acquire up to a 75% equity interest in Mag One by purchasing C$5.25M (US$3.96M) of shares in Mag One Operations. The funds invested by Blue Lagoon will enable Mag One to move from testing to larger-scale pilot plant demonstration. Also in January, it received a show of confidence in the form of an initial purchase order from steel giant Tata.”

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