Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)
Magnesium, pp. 735-745 ff. PDF (829.8 KB)
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 Péchiney 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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