Critical materials

Economic importance of magnesium

The economic importance of magnesium has increased considerably in recent years. Access to magnesium is a growing worldwide concern in some industrial sectors. With the increasing use of low GHG emitting technologies, in particular to combat climate change and transition to renewable energy, magnesium is one of the most critical and strategic materials.

A critical material is defined as a raw material of great economic importance with high risks of supply constraints.

Dependence on China

Magnesium consumption in the European Union and North America is almost entirely dependent on imports from China.
Capacity increases within existing companies are small relative to total global growth (Roskill, 2013). The United States and the European Union have included magnesium in their respective lists of minerals considered essential to their economic and national security.

Given how critical this metal is, Alliance Magnesium is a solution for several countries’ supply.

Quebec has incredible potential in this market as a green source in the light metals sector. Alliance Magnesium, with the first magnesium metal plant in Canada, offers a smart solution.

Quebec and Canada: reliability and green magnesium through Alliance Magnesium

Essential to the aluminum, iron and steel markets

Magnesium is both strategic and critical for Canada and Quebec. Magnesium is an essential element for the aluminum market because of its role in alloys. Canada’s largest consumer of magnesium is the aluminum sector. The iron and steel sectors cannot be overlooked either, as they require magnesium for desulphurization. The reliability of Canada’s supply chain is a crucial consideration.

Essential to the electrification of transportation

At a time when people around the planet are mobilizing to fight climate change, life cycle studies show that reducing weight by replacing steel parts with magnesium ones significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions in automobile production—by up to 23 t.
Magnesium use in transportation industries is increasing in parallel with the demand for lighter, fuel-efficient vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Reduced vehicle weight can also increase performance and durability, allowing for longer periods of use and increased lifespan.

The global economy, in the midst of economic and environmental change, requires ever-increasing use of and access to critical and strategic materials. There is major economic potential, and managing the climate change crisis requires concrete action. Processors are looking for more reliable and greener supply sources. Alliance Magnesium’s magnesium production, the most responsible on the planet, responds to these realities.

Alliance Magnesium: an even greater contribution!

While the Pidgeon thermal process, used in nearly 85% of the world’s magnesium production, generates 26 t of GHG per tonne of magnesium produced, the Alliance Magnesium process generates only 3 t of GHG for the same amount. Since this saves 23 t of GHG for transportation, the net balance is a 20 t GHG reduction per tonne of magnesium for the metal produced in Quebec.

Alliance Magnesium will produce almost 10 x less GHGs than current producers.

The Bape believes that despite China's production of 87% of the world magnesium market, the designation of this metal as a critical mineral by several countries, including the United States, favours its development in Quebec. (Source: Bape Commission of Inquiry, Asbestos Management, p.226)