LMG: Latrobe Valley Project Progression

16th July 2021

APozA member Latrobe Magnesium (ASX: LMG) is in the process of developing a magnesium production plant in Victoria's Latrobe Valley. LMG intends to extract and sell magnesium metal and cementitious material from fly ash, which is being supplied from the Yallourn brown coal power generation. During phase one LMG is building a 3,000 tpa (tonnes per annum) demonstration plant to convert fly ash into Magnesium Metal, Supplementary Cementitious Material (SCM), Amorphous Silica, Char and Iron Oxide using proprietary processes. In their most recent press release, LMG states that magnesium has the best strength-to-weight ratio of all common structural metals and is becoming increasingly popular in the manufacturing industry and plans to sell the refined magnesium under long-term contracts to Australian, USA and Japanese customers.

On the 28th of June 2021, LMG awarded an Engineering Procurement & Construction Management (EPCM) contract to Mincore Pty Ltd (Mincore) for Latrobe Magnesium’s Demonstration Plant which will be built in Hazelwood North, Victoria. The plant will produce magnesium metal from the same fly ash resource as the proposed plant, from Yallourn’s brown coal power generation to demonstrate LMG’s intended processes.

LMG’s CEO David Paterson has explained that LMG has invested several years into research and development to produce a patented process for extracting magnesium from magnesium-rich resources. Using this process, the magnesium will be extracted from the fly ash using a hydrometallurgical extraction /thermal reduction process which includes the production of valuable by-products and minimises wastage.

Mincore has worked with LMG through several stages of feasibility studies to take the project to a stage where a demonstration plant of 3,000 tpa is now viable. After completing this stage, LMG aims to move towards a commercial-scale operation and producing up to 40,000 tpa for the growing magnesium market.

Mincore has already begun several tasks for LMG and has grant applications with both the State and Federal Government which are currently being assessed. LMG expects to conclude the funding arrangements in the next quarter.

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