EcoMag sets up first Magnesium Business Park in Karratha

EcoMag, Australia’s premium supplier of high-purity magnesium salts, is working to establish a Magnesium Business Park (MBP) near Karratha, WA.

The precinct will establish key infrastructure to recover valuable minerals from concentrated seawater, a by-product from salt production. EcoMag will build a high-purity magnesium salt production facility forecast to initially generate $70 million in annual revenue.

EcoMag’s technology also produces suitable feedstock for decarbonised magnesium metal production. Magnesium is considered a critical mineral throughout Australia, USA and EU with over 85% of global production concentrated in China. Being one-third lighter than aluminium and over three times lighter than steel, car manufacturers view magnesium as a low-cost strategy to achieve weight reduction in structural components. Reducing deadweight in vehicles is increasingly attractive as the supply of battery materials struggle to keep up with ever-growing demand.

EcoMag Chief Executive Tony Crimmins said the MBP highlights the significant role EcoMag can play in fostering a burgeoning downstream mineral processing industry in the Pilbara region.

“The Magnesium Business Park will lower the barrier to entry for other projects to establish themselves adjacent to the significant waste-to-resource opportunity near Karratha. “

“Beyond magnesium, the hypersaline brine is abundant in other minerals found in seawater, including sodium, potassium and boron. We hope to work with like-minded ventures to harness the full potential of this resource.”

“We anticipate that access to shared infrastructure will expedite already co-located businesses such as WRS Bioproducts to cultivate algae to produce beta-carotene.”

The MBP is a more than just producing a resource it becomes a flagship for other like-minded businesses to treat their waste in processes that can utilize their value. Currently Ecomag is looking at waste CO2 generated in the area to combine with their processes. There are many available substitutes for input that can be sourced if you have the knowledge to make use. The Federal, WA State government and regional commissions recognise and have supported EcoMag’s establishment in the area as it is doing good and stepping out where established business cannot. EcoMag is there to make profit but also to show that business leaders need to fight complacency and actively work to find better solutions.

While EcoMag’s initial project will process less than ten per cent of the magnesium contained within the waste stream — translating to over 6,000 tonnes per year of magnesium products — commercial expansion is planned to produce over 40,000 tonnes per year, which will be used in pharmaceutical and high-performance construction material applications. Complete utilisation of the magnesium-rich waste stream has the potential to generate beyond $1 billion in annual revenue. 

EcoMag successfully passed the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility’s (NAIF) strategic investment process for a significant portion of the Karratha project. The Federal Government’s financier will make a final investment decision following satisfactory due diligence and further approval by the NAIF Board.