Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)
Magnesium, pp. 559-566 PDF (565.1 KB)
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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