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MEI Online: Electrometallurgy: Latest News: March 27th 2002

:: AMC Changes Cell Technology  

Australian Magnesium Corp. (AMC) has changed the electrolytic cell technology that it plans to use in its Stanwell magnesium project. In the 1,500 t/y pilot plant the company has used Alcan MKIII cell technology. However, it now plans to use Alcan's Ex2 cell technology. According to AMC's chief executive, Rod Sharp, "the key consideration in AMC's decision to adopt the Ex2 cell was the desire to use the most modern, productive and energy-efficient cell technology available in the world ... and this new-generation cell has now proved itself in commercial operations in North America and in Japan." AMC believes that higher cell productivity, less cell rebuilding, and reduced materials consumption and metal handling in the cell house are expected to lead to operating and capital cost savings and reinforce Stanwell's position in the lowest cost quartile of world magnesium producers.

AMC says that at this stage, it has no plans to replace the MKIII cells at its Gladstone pilot plant with Ex2 cells, as the technology and operating procedures for the two designs are identical. The only difference between the cell designs is the number and design of the electrodes.

Meanwhile, Noranda Inc. is using Alcan Ex2 cell technology at its Magnola operation in Quebec. The 63,000 t/y operation produced its first metal in October 2000, four months behind schedule and the project had been scheduled to reach full output by the end of the March quarter of 2001. However, the plant is understood to have experienced a number of technical problems and has yet to reach full capacity.



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