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Now it's a major magnesium shortage - from China - that is going to cruel industry worldwide


onetrack
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Just as the world is trying to recover from COVID-19 lockdowns and deaths and sickness, global shipping upsets, a lack of air transport, a shortage of semi-conductors, and general havoc in global supply-chains - there appears, a Magnesium metal shortage.

 

Now, there's two things of great importance here. One is - Magnesium is a crucial metal today for alloys in manufacturing - in the car industry in particular - but in many industries, right through to even packaging - and the world needs lots of magnesium.

Two - global corporations, in their rush to Chinese product supplies, have allowed China to become the manufacturer of over 85% of the worlds magnesium metal.

 

But now - Xi Jinping, in his ideological wisdom, has ordered large swathes of Chinese manufacturing industry to close down to reduce global emissions. But one of those Chinese industries most severely affected by the order to shutdown, is magnesium metal manufacturing. So now, the world is staring at a crucial shortage of magnesium for manufacturing.

Magnesium is found in most manufactured products today - from your electronic communication devices, through to aircraft and automotive components, and even food manufacturing and processing. It's also used in steel-making and in the production of titanium.

 

The manufacture of magnesium metal is very energy intensive, so most Western countries were happy to relinquish magnesium manufacturing to the Chinese - who also have large deposits of magnesium ores, as well as cheap labour, and relatively cheap energy.

Now, all this lack of forethought has come back to bite those same global corporations on the bum. We are staring at some serious shortages of many manufactured products in the coming foreseeable future - new cars being amongst those products in short supply - but probably also in many other commonly-used manufactured products. Recycling of old magnesium-containing items, does not have any major ability to make up for the Chinese magnesium metal shortfall.

 

In addition, copper stocks are getting low, with the LME world stockpile of copper falling to just 15,000 tonnes, as compared to a normal 15,000,000 tonnes! We are in for a torrid time in the near future with major supply shortages of many manufactured goods.

 

https://www.ft.com/content/1611e936-08a5-4654-987e-664f50133a4b

 

https://www.essentialchemicalindustry.org/metals/magnesium.html

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Look at the amount of heat used in producing magnesium.

Heat 1.  Dolomite ore is crushed and heated in a kiln to produce a mixture of magnesium and calcium oxides, a process known as calcining:

Magnesium_02.JPG

Heat 2. The next step is reduction of the magnesium oxide.  The reducing agent is ferrosilicon (an alloy of iron and silicon) which is made by heating sand with coke and scrap iron, and typically contains about 80% silicon. The oxides are mixed with crushed ferrosilicon, and made into briquettes for loading into the reactor. Alumina may also be added to reduce the melting point of the slag. The reaction is carried out at 1650 to 2000 degrees C under very low pressure, close to vacuum. Under these conditions the magnesium is produced as a vapour which is condensed by cooling to about 1100 K in steel-lined condensers, and then removed and cast into ingots:

Magnesium_03.JPG

The reaction is endothermic (requires heat) and the position of equilibrium is in favour of magnesium oxide.  However, by removing the magnesium vapour as it is produced, the reaction goes to completion. 

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I used to lay awake at night worrying myself silly about Peak Oil. Then a mob of religious experts told us not to worry, because their god is making more fossil fuel for us to us, as fast as us chosen ones can use it up.....

 

So now I'll lay awake at night fretting about "peak magnesium" and "peak copper".

 

Unless those gods notice the problem and start making more raw materials for us......

Edited by nomadpete
proof read it 3 times and still missed the spelling mistakes
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44 minutes ago, nomadpete said:

Unless those gods notice the problem and start making more raw materials for us......

Of course they will, that's why we dig it up, use it for a short period then bury it in land fill. The gods always look after humans, just look at the track record of all gods to see they exist to care for those that follow them. 🤣😇

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1 hour ago, nomadpete said:

I used to lay awake at night worrying myself silly about Peak Oil. Then a mob of religious experts told us not to worry, because their god is making more fossil fuel for us to us, as fast as us chosen ones can use it up.....

 

So now I'll lay awake at night fretting about "peak magnesium" and "peak copper".

 

Unless those gods notice the problem and start making more raw materials for us......

Get to the root cause - you're better off sleeping, but if you have to lie awake fretting about something, worry about "peak stupidity".

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I had to laugh when I heard that the coal mines in Inner Mongolia have been ordered to increase production by 50%. I have been around mine planning all my adult life and can tell you that an expansion like that takes several years to implement, even if the capital funds are immediately available.

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Recipe for a mine disaster. . Life is cheap in a lot of places. A Bot said oldies have had good lives and should willingly be reasonable and  just die for the sake of the majority who are far less of a problem. and can still work. Good onya Phoney.  Bet YOU didn't vote for Voluntary Assisted Dying with Dignity. Nev

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6 hours ago, Marty_d said:

Get to the root cause - you're better off sleeping, but if you have to lie awake fretting about something, worry about "peak stupidity".

Thanks, Marty. You give me hope. If we've hit peak stupidity (and humans can't get much stupider), then things must start getting better real soon 😉

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11 hours ago, facthunter said:

Magnesium is very reactive and corrodes well. It also has a high rate of thermal expansion..   Really high temperatures are better achieved from the Concentration of the suns rays or a nuclear process. . Sea water contains many of the rarer metals. Nev

Years ago I discovered the power of the sun when I got a severe burn.

 I had walked past the broken, degraded remains of a WWII searchlight mirror in my garage. On investgation, I discovered it could concentrate the late afternoon sun sufficient to melt aluminium in a second or two and steel in less than ten seconds.

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4 hours ago, onetrack said:

Peak stupidity will not be reached until next year - when the voter morons re-elect the dopes we have in charge now, on the basis the voters actually believe the dopes are going to do what they promise, in the electioneering promises.

Or 2024, if they're moronic enough to re-elect Trump.

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