FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A next-generation reactor producing low-cost, environmentally friendly magnesium metal is being piloted in Fort St. John.

On Monday, Western Magnesium Corporation said the commissioning of its pilot reactor is complete and is ready to receive feed materials at its partner facilities in the Energetic City.

The U.S based company’s goal with the new reactor is to develop a new generation of technology that it will include in the commercial pilot plant currently under construction in the Lower Mainland and future facilities. Once successfully created, the reactor will be faster and more economical in producing magnesium metal, said the company.

Executive President & CEO Sam Ataya is excited the commissioning process is done, and the company can move forward.

“Not only will the new reactor be able to produce magnesium metal at our Fort St. John facility, but we will be able to expand production once our main commercial pilot plant is fully assembled and operational. These two separate events are coming to fruition in a timely manner according to management’s expectations,” said Ataya.

Once magnesium is produced, and testing is complete in Fort St. John, the company says the next-generation reactor will be successfully developed.

According to the company’s website, magnesium is lighter than other metals and abundant, however, supply is limited. Demand could soon be greater than the supply if fast, clean technology isn’t developed.  Currently, around 85 per cent of the million metric tons produced each year comes from China.

Magnesium is used in automotive, aerospace, energy technology and military.