The Australian Government recently announced grants to a total of AUD50M (US$33M) specifically aimed at accelerating the development of projects related to critical materials.
Thirteen projects have been approved for funding under Australia’s Critical Minerals Development Program to support and facilitate the development of Australia’s Critical Minerals Strategy. The grants will see the development of critical mineral supply chains for key industries that include aerospace, medical, energy, and defence. In addition, these projects will also create opportunities in regional and local Australian communities.
Magnium Australia’s magnesium pilot plant is among the successful projects, with plans to develop its CSIRO-patented extraction technology for large-scale commercial application. Magnium has completed its pre-feasibility study, which was funded by the McGowan Government in an effort to stimulate the local economy and attract emergent industries. In April 2023, Magnium also received a AUD5M (US$3M) grant towards this project from the McGowan Government’s Collie Industrial Transition Fund.
Magnesium demand is predicted to grow by roughly 500kt over the next decade due to its application in the steel, alloys and metal industries. Furthermore, the most significant consumer market developments are expected to be the growth of the automotive industry, where magnesium is used for lightweighting.
Historically, magnesium extraction has been linked to high carbon emissions related to its large-scale production in China using the Pidgeon process. This high energy requirement has also limited the growth of magnesium production outside of China.
Given that Magnium’s CSIRO-patented carbothermic reduction technique has been shown to produce low carbon emissions, its development will represent a significant step towards lower-cost magnesium production and decarbonization of the sector. The first facility will have a capacity of 1ktpy and once the pilot plant has proven successful, Collie in Western Australia will become home to Magnium’s full-scale commercial plant.
Source: Project Blue