Since the company was founded in the mid-1980s, QMAG has established a strong reputation for providing the global refractory, hydrometallurgical and agricultural industries with premium-quality magnesia (magnesium oxide [MgO]) products.
The magnesite (magnesium carbonate [MgCO3]) QMAG mines at the Kunwarara site is further processed into magnesia (magnesium oxide [MgO]) for use in refractory settings all over the world.Industrial furnaces and kilns require insulation from extreme temperatures, which is why QMAG’s deadburned and electrofused magnesia have become key ingredients in manufacturing refractory bricks. The bricks are used to build heating kilns and furnaces for iron and steelmaking. Refractory bricks are also used extensively in the manufacture of cement, glass and ceramics.
In the late 1990s, QMAG was the first magnesia producer to supply the global hydrometallurgy or ‘hydromet’ market with high-grade caustic calcined magnesia (HGCCM). The product was used in a patented process to precipitate nickel from high-pressure, acid-leached nickel laterite ores. About a decade later, our EMAG45 was the first magnesia product to precipitate cobalt from acid-leached copper/cobalt ores.
The same process is now used to recover rare earths, uranium and zinc. With the growing demand for chemical forms of nickel and cobalt, primarily for rechargeable batteries, production of nickel and cobalt intermediate products is growing too. In many cases, these are actually the preferred form of nickel and cobalt rather than metal, concentrates, or mixed alloys. QMAG supplies its highest reactive caustic calcined magnesia (EMAG45) to the nickel and cobalt hydromet markets. These significant markets for QMAG are growing considerably as the world moves to net zero emissions with electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery storage.
The agricultural sector is one of QMAG’s key customers. We sell caustic calcined magnesia (CCM) to agricultural manufacturers to incorporate in fertilizers. These help to replenish soil with the element of magnesium (from magnesium oxide), which is essential for plant photosynthesis, crop growth and yield. CCM is also used to supplement the nutritional content of animal feed for dairy cows, cattle, sheep and poultry. As a 100% BioGro certified producer, our CCM can be used in the organic farming and produce supply chain in New Zealand.
The chemical industry relies heavily on magnesia to render industrial waste harmless to the environment. High-grade caustic calcined magnesia (HGCCM) is used for processing wood pulp as a cellulose protector and peroxide stabiliser (after pulp bleaching), and in industrial and domestic waste water treatment. Thanks to its excellent neutralising properties, CCM helps to protect the environment.