Inorganic Chemicals Technical Service and Development 750183
Magnesium, like so many other metals, is experiencing a period of short supply. While, as of this writing, fourth quarter of 1974, there is some softening of the market for metals such as aluminum and zinc, magnesium continues to be short. The short supply of magnesium will unfortunately restrict its use in two potential growth markets-steel desulfurization and die casting. However, the desire of the automotive companies to reduce the weight of their cars and the projected energy requirements to produce magnesium makes the future look good for this metal.
The use of magnesium in the die casting market will eventually grow as the energy requirements to produce magnesium become competitive with aluminum on a unit volume basis. Magnesium's raw material source of supply, sea water, is constant; and the process of electrolytic extraction will be continually improved from an energy and cost standpoint. Bauxite quality is gradually deteriorating and will eventually drive aluminum production energy requirements up. The fact that most bauxite sources are outside of the United States is also in favor of magnesium.