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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Petkof, Benjamin
Magnesium,   pp. 559-566 PDF (565.1 KB)


Page 559

  559Magnesium 
By Benjamin PetkoP 
 Primary domestic magnesium metal production continued its upward trend in
197879. Consumption in 1978 was almost identical to that of 1979 but was
above the consumption levels of recent years. Exports of metal increased
in both quantity and value. Imports increased in 1978 in both quantity and
value but declined in 1979. The quoted metal price advanced in 1978-79. World
primary metalproduction was also up. 
 Legislation and Government Programs.—.New tariff rates for imported
magnesium metal resulted from the 1979 Tokyo round of tariff negotiations
giving most nations "most-favored nation" status. The tariffs for
these nations
will decline annually, in stages, beginning January 1, 1980, and ending January
1, 1987. 
Table 1.—Salient magnesium statistics 
(Short tons) 
1975 
1976 
1977 
1978 
1979 
United States: 
Production: 
Primary magnesium'         Secondary magnesium_         
Shipments: Primary              
Exports                       
Imports for consumption  
Consumption                 
 Price per pound cents_ — 
World: Primary production  
120,203 
27,873 
W 
32,591 
7,903 
94,167 
82 
258,487 
119,957 
30,553 
w 
13,444 
14,907 
104,453 
87-92 
r270483 
125,958 
32,694 
w 
28,061 
5,964 
103,576 
96-99 
T277 373 
149,507 
36,228 
w 
41,807 
6,668 
108,958 
99-101 
312,263 
162,291 
37,222 
w 
54,275 
4,754 
108,844 
101-109 
334,582 
r154~64~ w withheld to avoid disclosing company proprietary data. 
' Derived from data reported by The Magnesium Association and the Canadian
Department of Mines and Natural 
Resources. Figures are the difference between total North American production
reported by the International 
Magnesium Association and Canadian production reported by the Canadian Department
of Mines and Natural 
Resources. 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
 Domestic primary ingot production increased substantially in 1978-79 over
that of 1977. Four companies accounted for the entire domestic output. Three
of these companies, The American Magnesium Compafly (Snyder, Tex.), The Dow
Chemical Co. (Freeport, Tex.,) and NL Industries, Inc. (Rowley, Utah), produced
magnesium from magnesium chloride solution obtained from brine by the electrolytic
method. Northwest Alloys, Inc. (Addy, Wash.), produced magnesium from dOlomite
using the silicothermic process. The total nominal U.S. production 
capacity reached 181,500 tons at the end of 1979. 
 At midyear 1979, The Dow Chemical Company announced the construction of
a plant at Freeport, Tex., to prepare magnesium metal granules for use in
steel desulfurization. The plant was expected to be in operation in mid-1980.
 Magnesium obtained by secondary recovery continued to supply a signifignant
portion of the domestic supply of this metal. Production of secondary metal
increased in 1978 andin 1979. 


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