US investor to build $1bn magnesium mining complex in Romania

US investor to build $1bn magnesium mining complex in Romania
The magnesium mine is located in western Romania, near the city of Oradea (pictured).
By bne IntelliNews April 17, 2024

Verde Magnesium, backed by Amerocap investment fund, plans to invest $1bn in Romania within eight to ten years to develop a magnesium mine and a processing plant that would use the magnesium to recycle aluminium and produce aluminium alloys. 

The company is poised to be the EU's leading producer of metallic magnesium, offering Europe an alternative domestic supply for its demand, which is currently 100% imported, mainly from China. The metal is in high demand to produce lightweight aluminium alloys that are used in cars and packaging, among other applications. 

The company was issued the permit to reopen a closed magnesium mine located in western Romania, near Oradea, on April 15.

The investor plans to start magnesium production in Romania within four to five years and estimates an annual production capacity of some 90,000 tonnes afterwards. 

The exploitation works will last up to five years, and in parallel, work will also be carried put for the development of the magnesium metal production unit, said Verde Magnesium CEO Alexandru Rosu.

The last two European mines producing magnesium, one in Norway and the other in France, were closed in 2001, one of the reasons being competition from cheap imports from China. 

Currently more than 90% of the EU's magnesium is imported from China, making the 27-country bloc vulnerable to disruptions in Chinese production such as that seen in 2022 as a result of high energy prices. 

Depending on the development of the production capacity, the project is presented as creating up to 1,000 direct jobs and up to 10,000 indirect jobs.