Mag One Products (MDD.C) is out to make the world a cleaner, better place. Magnesium may be an integral part of the EV revolution, but the company isn’t just satisfied with pumping out battery metals.

With their new and novel way of sourcing magnesium, Mag One aims to lead the charge towards a brighter and more sustainable future. One tailing pond at a time.

Listen in!



Before queuing up this podcast, you probably haven’t given much thought to magnesium.

But you should. It’s a metal that’s going to play an increasing role in our industries from this point on. Everything from electric vehicle batteries to car frames to medicine involves magnesium, though there isn’t a lot known about it.

And that’s the problem: magnesium isn’t easy to produce, and the traditional methods of producing this metal are usually either expensive or costly to the environment, if not both.

That’s where Mag One Products comes in. Except Mag One isn’t your traditional mining company. It’s actually not a mining company at all. 

If Mag One has its way, it won’t be putting other magnesium producers out of business, it’ll actually be helping them increase production, making them more money. That’s because it’s a tech play operating within the world of mining.

And if Mag One isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill explorerco., Gillian Holcroft isn’t your traditional mining CEO. Here she is explaining her company’s mission statement.

“Our mission statement such as is to be the most environmentally friendly lowest cost producer of magnesium metal products…so what’s interesting you know environmentally you know it’s a great thing to do. Take you take a waste and you’re actually making bunch of products.”

Here’s the elevator pitch: No matter how much they clean up after themselves, mines leave behind tailings, basically piles of waste rock and debris. Everything that isn’t the metal the miners are looking for gets piled up at the side.

These tailings had been considered useless… until now. Mag One goes to old mining sites, mostly in Quebec for now, and gets to work extracting the magnesium in the tailings.

Since the metal is already above-ground, there’s no need to drill for it. There’s a joke Mag One likes to make about these tailings being visible from space. This makes the process inexpensive, and since there’s no drilling required, it’s almost waste free.

Mag One just has to set up an extraction plant next to an old mine tailing pond and they’re home free. No feasibility studies required, just plug and play. According to Holcroft, her company’s goal is to start up this process…

“in a modular fashion meaning that we can actually cost effectively build the first module, show the world that we can actually make money and we know what we’re doing and our technology works. And so building subsequent modules is going to be a copy paste if you will. So we help to reduce the risk and the financial requirement to build that first module and what could happen for investors is that we become the largest magnesium metal producer in the world and the lowest cost, just because we have enough tailings or someone larger buys us out.”

The company says it aims to get the first module operational by 2021. That’ll be for making magnesium oxide. If she has her way, Holcroft says a magnesium meal module will shortly follow suit.
But before we talk about Mag One any further, we have to talk about aluminum, as the two have an interesting relationship.
Magnesium and aluminum are typically die-cast together to make alloys, the kind often used in the automotive sector but used in the construction of almost everything. Believe it or not, pure aluminum was once so expensive to produce, it was considered a precious metal in the mid 19th century, and was even more expensive than gold.
Read: Moneyball pick: Mag One (MDD.C) targets the metal of the future – magnesium
Then Charles Martin Hall discovered a cheaper way to produce aluminum and the metal really took off, pun very much intended. Aluminum is integral to the construction of airplanes, but that’s just one example.
It’s light, strong, and plentiful. According to, over five million metric tonnes of aluminum was produced in June 2019 alone.
It’s clear there’s a market for durable, ultra-lightweight metals. Allied Market Research values the global aluminum market at over $133 billion in 2015. Magnesium on the other hand was only valued as a $1.3 billion market in 2018 by Zion Market Research.
It turns out magnesium is just as strong as aluminum, and 20-30% lighter. The problem is that up until now, producing magnesium has been a costly and environmentally destructive process.
So, Mag One hopes it can be to magnesium what Charles Martin Hall was to aluminum. Because not only is there a huge demand for magnesium among everyone from car manufacturers to aerospace engineers, it may be a crucial metal in the fight against climate change.
The International Magnesium Association says, “Magnesium is highly recyclable and therefore requires only 5-10 percent of the energy necessary for the manufacture of the primary material.”
And then there’s magnesium’s role in the electric battery revolution. In 2018, Science Daily published an article explaining how organic cathode materials drastically improved the storage capacity of magnesium batteries which were once considered vastly inferior to their lithium-ion counterparts.
Mag One’s commitment to discovering a cleaner way to mine didn’t happen by accident. It’s actually the result of deliberate planning on behalf of the company’s management, with a little help from the Canadian government.
“In the past, it would be cheaper to put things in a pond or blow things up a stack. And if you have a lot of gas cleaning or things like that, it’s always more expensive. So it’s environmental regulations that are forcing us to do our job better and to be smarter.”
Holcroft was nominated by the Mettalurgical Society of Canada for this year’s METSOC Environmental award, while and her son is pursuing mining engineering at McGill University.
Holcroft says she and her son want to change public perception about mining as a whole because, like it or not, we wouldn’t be where we are as a species without these resources. They’re even the reason I’m able to record this podcast.
It’s an admirable goal, but it’s clear they’ve got their work cut out for them. Until then, you can find Holcroft and Mag One doing what they’ve always done: rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. One tailing pond at a time.
For, I’m Ethan Reyes.

Full disclosure: Mag One is an marketing client.
Music from
“The Show Must Be Go” by Kevin MacLeod (
License: CC BY (
Written By:

Ethan Reyes

More By This Author