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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Chin, E.
Magnesium,   pp. 735-745 ff. PDF (829.8 KB)


Page 737

 MAGNESIUM 737 
effect improvements in the effluent control systems at its plant. In 1972,
American Magnesium was granted a license to use a U.S.S.R-designed electrolytic
cell. Soviet technicians visited the electrolytic plant at Snyder, Tex.,
to assist American Magnesium's personnel with the operation of the cell,
which is reportedly the largest in the Western World. Late in the year, the
reduction plant was operated intermittently and some magnesium metal was
produced. 
 Late in 1972, NL initiated operational startup of its magnesium reduction
plant, located on the southwestern shore of the Great Salt Lake, near Rowley
and Grantsville, Tooele County, Utah. NL's electrolytic plant has a rated
annual capacity of 45,000 tons per year of magnesium metal and 70,000 tons
of chlorine. Electrical power for NL's project was supplied by the Utah Power
and Light Co. 
 NL's process uses a modified electrolytic cell of the I.G. Farben design
and a closed metal circulation system. Raw material source is the brine from
the Great Salt Lake which contains approximately 0.7% magnesium, about five
times more than sea water. The lake brines are pumped into precipitation
ponds where solar evaporation increases the concentration of the magnesium
chloride from 2.5% to 30%. From there it is pumped into holding tanks for
storage as raw material feed. The storage tanks hold more than a 1-year supply
of magnesium chloride for cell feed. 
 Early in l~72, Great Salt Lake Minerals and Chemicals Corp. (GSL) received
$2.975 million from Dow in cancellation payments for the $3 million magnesium
chloride facility GSL built at Ogden, Utah. The facility was to supply magnesium
chloride for Dow's proposed magnesium plant at Dallesport, Oreg. In 1971,
Dow indefinitely delayed the construction of the Dallesport magnesium chloride
reduction facility. 
 The Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) acquired a license from France's
P├ęchiney Ugine Kuhlmann to use the Magnetherm process for the production
of magnesium metal. The magnesium plant, to be situated at Addy, Wash., will
use dolomitic limestone deposits in the area for the metal production. The
Magnetherm process involves the reduction of calcined dolomite by ferrosilicon
at temperatures in excess of 1,500┬░ C. Northwest Alloys, Inc., a newly
formed Alcoa subsidiary, will begin construction of the facility in April
1973 with startup targeted for March 1975. Initial capacity will be 24,000
tons per year of magnesium and an ultimate capacity of 40,000 tons per year.
The $50 million facility will have a work force of 200 to 250 persons, and
will be increased to 300 to 400 persons as capacity is brought up to 
40,000 tons per year. The Bonneville Power Administration will supply electricity
beginning in October 1974 to the 240acre Addy site located 50 miles northwest
of Spokane. The magnesium and byproduct silicon, two important alloying agents
for aluminum, will be used internally by Alcoa. 


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