Antonio Catalano, EVP Downstream, Tenova and David Paterson, CEO, Latrobe Magnesium Ltd

Latrobe Magnesium Ltd (LMG), a company based in Australia, has awarded a contract to Tenova. The scope of work is the engineering, supply and supervision of a magnesium oxide production plant at Latrobe Valley, Victoria. This demonstration plant will use a world-first process of combined hydromet/thermal reduction. 

As part of the first phase of the project, Tenova’s scope of supply will include a magnesium oxide plant with spray roaster technology, with a production capacity of 300kg/h.

This demonstration plant will initially have a capacity of 1 000 tonnes of magnesium metal per year. In the second stage, LMG intends to develop a commercial scale operation with an envisaged production capacity in the range of 10 000 to 40 000 tons per annum of magnesium metal.

Fly ash resource

Thanks to its world-first patented hydrometallurgical extraction and thermal reduction process, the plant will harvest magnesium metal from a fly ash resource – a waste stream from brown coal power generation. 

The project is at the forefront of environmental sustainability as it converts nearly 100% of the resource into valuable commodities. The released CO2 emissions are approximately 50% less than comparable magnesium production plants.

Best strength-to-weight ratio

“Demand for magnesium worldwide is strong,” says David Paterson, CEO at LMG. “It has the best strength-to-weight ratio of all common structural materials and is increasingly being used in the manufacture or car parts, laptop computers, mobile phones and power tools. Currently the Latrobe Valley contains 25 million tons inventory of fly ash, which is why it is so important for us to have a reliable partner in this project”

The first magnesium is expected to be produced in 2023.

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