Magnesium is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant component in the Earth’s crust, containing the symbol “Mg” and atomic number 12. In water this earth metal is highly soluble and is the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater. Adding to this, it is also the 11th most abundant element by mass in the human body.
Concerning supply and production, there are many uses for magnesium even though the market for this metal is fairly small. The total global production in 2010 reached 750,000 metric tons while consumption averaged 670,000 metric tons. Today we have seen a rise in production by over 70% since 2000, but the global market for magnesium is about the same size as some single large-scale aluminum smelters.
We are all familiar with the household name magnesium as it brings about so many uses for our daily lives; it’s found in food supplements and in green vegetables, it acts as a key industrial metal that is used to strengthen aluminum alloys and it is also used to remove sulfur in producing iron and steel, and to inoculate cast iron. Magnesium is also used in electronic devices including cell phones, laptops, and other products that benefit from its light weight and sturdiness. This critical metal is deemed important for strong and healthy bones, as well as good circulation.
Demand for the metal has developed increasing at about 3% yearly, with the leading growth seen in the car parts industry due to the fact that magnesium is used for die-casting. Specifically, it is found in automobile parts such as steering wheels and support brackets. Magnesium is not only 40% lighter than aluminum, it is also as strong as steel, making it easier to mold and hold its shape. There is a weakness that belongs to this well developed metal; its tendency to corrode when exposed to air, but with improvement of chemical purity, magnesium has become more resistant to corrosion