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Company takes first steps toward proposed magnesium plant

CADIZ — Western Magnesium Corp. took its first step toward a proposed magnesium plant in Harrison County.

Company officials signed a due diligence document to begin preparations for the proposed plant Tuesday at the Harrison County Industrial Park, the future site of the plant.

The project will be the first full-scale deployment of the company’s proprietary magnesium extraction technology in the United States, according to prior reports.

The $1 billion facility is set to be constructed on a 122-acre site inside the industrial park in Cadiz.

Sam Ataya, executive president and CEO of Western Magnesium Corp., said the county was selected after a 16-month search of areas in Ohio and the United States. He said the company has “needs” and “pleasant surprises” that led to its decision.

“Logistics is one reason we felt strongly about the area we’re going into. We were able to identify that the area had enough power and speed for what we need to operate our plant there. It’s a central area so when we do produce magnesium, that metal can reach industry effectively and in a timely manner,” he said.

“We worked with JobsOhio, who were fantastic in helping us select the site and look at everything around us. The community leaders were very welcoming and really worked with us on what our needs were, and that’s something for us that we take a great interest in. I think plants in the old days would just look at a site and not worry about anything else, but for us, looking at the community, education, the colleges, the high schools where we’re really able to work with them as well because we’re developing new job skills.”

Ataya said the due diligence stage is already underway, as the company flew a drone over the property to begin mapping out the land so officials can begin selecting the exact spot where the plant will be positioned. The due diligence period will continue during the next 12 to 18 months with the company anticipating construction to begin afterward.

He said they plan to construct a 300,000-square-foot building as well as other buildings on the property.

Each plant will employ up to 200 full-time 500 auxiliary positions, according to the company.

Nick Homrighausen, community economic development executive director for the Harrison County Community Improvement Corp., said the plant is a great opportunity for the county.

The project will create hundreds of jobs and diversify the local economy, he said.

“It once again proves that we can compete for worldwide projects in Eastern Ohio and in Harrison County.

“It will bring 200 high-paying jobs to the county that will help with our population growth, as well as diversifying our economy with manufacturing that will be located within our industrial park in Harrison County, and potential for other plants that might want to be near this plant for the calcium or magnesium that will be taking place,” he said.

Homrighausen said they look forward to working with the company through the due diligence period and moving toward the groundbreaking se.

Harrison County Commissioner Paul Coffland said the proposed plant will create 200 permanent jobs once the plant is up and running, along with hundreds of others for the construction phase.

“We’re excited about the potential for 200 jobs being created in Harrison County and possible spin-off businesses that could occur,” he said.

Coffland said they are also excited for the opportunity and look forward to working with Western Magnesium over the coming months to make sure the project comes to fruition.

Western Magnesium plans to break ground on the new plant within the next 18 months. A large sign that says “Future home of Western Magnesium” now sits on the property.

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