China to tap salt lakes for high-grade magnesia
Published: Friday, 30 August 2019
Mineral rich lakes on Qinghai’s mountain plateaus earmarked for resource extraction.
Mineral-rich salt lakes in central China’s
Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a mountainous
region of the southwest Qinghai province, are being targeted as
sources of high-grade magnesia, along with a host of other
Policy proposals from the prefecture’s
government published in late July outlined the plans, but
without giving a timeline or indication of how much money it
plans to put into the scheme.
The brine lakes are already being exploited for potash and
sodium, with potassium chloride production estimated to be
around 8.5 million tonnes per year.
But the local government now plans to develop a
comprehensive industrial system for producing magnesium,
lithium, boron, bromine, value-added fertilizers, fine
chemicals and other resources.
According to government statements, it intends to build
plants capable of producing highly pure magnesium-based
products, including 400,000 tpy of magnesium hydroxide and
500,000 tpy of high-grade magnesium oxide for refractory
materials and flame-retardant applications.
The local government also believes that Haixi’s
salt lakes could also support a local lithium industry worth
billions of yuan.