Processing companies have been successfully producing magnesium metal from raw materials out of the Great Salt Lake for more than 50 years, but recent demands for high-grade lithium is pushing the agency to this familiar location once again.
A few weeks ago, on April 25, 2019, US Magnesium LLC. and Wollam Construction broke ground on the new lithium production plant in Rowley, Utah.
The Rowley Plant property has a long history with magnesium metal and commercial production as the Great Salt Lake is recognized as a valuable source of minerals. In addition to salt, the waters of the lake also provide the raw materials needed for magnesium.
Since the 1960s, the Rowley Plant helped reduce energy costs and maximize production efficiency. Today, the current Rowley magnesium facility accounts for all of primary magnesium production in North America and approximately 10% of the world’s production.
While US Magnesium has helped make the production of magnesium more efficient and profitable, it had yet figured out a way of developing lithium—until now.
From the 1.5 million tons of cell salt left over from magnesium production, the facility, operated by US Magnesium since 2008, has now developed a way of extracting lithium from these seemingly insignificant leftover minerals.
This development is massive for technology, science, and business.
Not only is it great for business demand, but it also has drawn up needs for a new facility fully-dedicated to the production of lithium.
US Magnesium is now working with our team at Wollam Construction constructing a full-scale facility that will produce high-grade lithium from cell salt material.
This fast paced project will include many facets of our construction and contracting services including heavy civil construction, concrete installation, structural steel erection, process piping, mechanical equipment installation, and more.
Our team will work hard building a facility that can take on the demands of the mineral producing industry. Fortunately, our team is well-equipped for the job. From our frontend planning to working with closely with engineering, every scope of work is coordinated to ensure a seamless finish.
The project which is expected to be an upwards of $60 million investment has the capacity to produce 10,000 tons per year of 99.9% pure lithium carbonate, according to Ron Thayer, US Magnesium president, and plant manager.
While the project is a significant investment, it could not come at a more convenient time. Lithium batteries help power batteries in cell phones, computers, and other battery-powered devices, which is why the demand is so high right now.
The lithium facility construction will employee around 100 people. Once the construction is complete, US Magnesium, which currently has 470 employees, will also employ an additional 45 full-time workers.
But the economic benefit of the project extends beyond additional jobs and property tax, but US Magnesium plans on using local vendors for both construction and operating supplies, including our work at Wollam Construction.Our team is very grateful for this opportunity and excited to see the finished product. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on the project on our blog and website. If you want additional information on the US Magnesium Lithium Project or any of our service, please contact us online or call us at (801) 938-9170.