Special Report-EU Looks to Rejuvenate Domestic Magnesium Production

The European Commission aims to restart domestic production of magnesium, which is a key metal in steel and aluminum manufacturing, with at least three companies have been working to develop projects.

A European Commission working document places a new emphasis on magnesium and a target of cutting dependence on major producer China. The document says an investment of up to 2 billion euros ($2.12 billion) will be needed to restart smelting activity in Europe by 2025.

With Europe consuming a fifth of the global magnesium supply, the issue has gained importance especially following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia was the world’s fourth biggest magnesium producer last year, with an estimated 21,000 tonnes of output.

Europe is not a major buyer of Russian magnesium and the metal is not sanctioned, but Russia’s isolation means Europe can’t use it as a replacement if Chinese supplies are cut.

EU’s executive arm is concerned that a potential curb from China, which supplies 90% of the EU’s magnesium, could cause production cuts in automotive, aviation and other industries that use the mineral.

After supplies from China dropped last year, magnesium prices in the bloc have soared and forced the EU to accelerate efforts to secure domestic production.

As a result, EU policymakers have made magnesium production top priority along with rare earth magnets used in electric vehicles and wind turbines.

China, which dominates both, supplies 93% of the bloc’s magnesium needs.

The Commission aims the domestic industry to produce 15% of the EU’s magnesium needs by 2030.

The magnesium market is relatively small, with about 1 million tonnes of annual production, compared to 67 million tonnes of aluminum, but it plays a critical role in a wide range of products, from aluminum cans to airplane wings.

Magnesium prices skyrocketed late last year after the Chinese government’s efforts to curb power consumption reduced the output of a range of metals, including magnesium.

European industry groups warned the bloc last October that if magnesium shortage remains, plant shutdowns would become a possibility, putting millions of jobs in danger.

The EU has been looking at ways to revive production since then, although Chinese shipments to Europe resumed.

The last two European magnesium production facilities, in Norway and France, closed in 2001 mainly because of competition from cheap imports from China.

There are now three potential European projects that could produce magnesium in the coming years, two in Romania and one in Bosnia.

Verde Magnesium, backed by private equity firm Amerocap, is seeking to revive a brownfield mine in Western Romania and is seeking permission from the government. Verde hopes to start production by 2025.

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now

Do you need to access special insights on this matter?

Start your 7-day free trial  and become a member today

Subscribe to Top Insights Today

Subscribe to Executive Newsletter Top Insights Today

The Executive Newsletter -Top Insights Today- puts global business events in perspective through special insights

Join the ranks of global executives and subscribe to Top Insights Today

Top Insights Today covers insights on energy, clean-tech, oil&gas, mining, rare earths, defense, aviation, infrastructure, manufacturing, electrical vehicles, big-tech, finance and politics of business

By clicking subscribe you agree to our privacy and cookie policy and terms and conditions of use.

Read more insights

U.S. Inflation Reduction Act to Kickstart More CCS Projects

Tax credits in the $430 billion U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, which is expected to be signed into law by Biden this week, will encourage more investment in carbon sequestration projects, according to fossil fuel industry proponents, who argue that they will offset some startup costs for lower emission initiatives. Fossil fuel industry has been willing to solve its emission problem primarily by developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) hubs, which take take gases from chemical, power and gas producers and oil refineries. But large-scale development has been going slowly due to high costs and lack of guaranteed revenue.

Stellantis, Samsung to Join Forces for a Battery Plant in North America

Global automotive giant Stellantis has agreed with battery manufacturer Samsung SDI, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics, to jointly produce electric vehicle (EV) batteries for the North American market. Samsung SDI already has several plants in South Korea, Hungary and China, and supplies automakers BMW and Ford. 

India Takes Advantage of Big Discount, Continues to Buy Russian Oil

India’s state owned Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) has purchased 1 million barrels of Russian crude oil for May loading via a tender. India decided to make the deal following the discount offered. 

Stay informed

error: This content is protected !!