Secret British Magnesium production

A settling tank, used to extract magnesium from seawater, under construction at Harrington, Cumbria, 16th November 1940

Magnesium was a vital component in aircraft production but the war ended imports of mined magnesium ore from Austria and Greece. An alternative process was established to extract magnesium from seawater by the Ministry of Aircraft Production. The finished product cost over twice as much as from conventional sources but was essential to the war effort. The full story of the works, disguised as ‘Harrington Ironworks’, is at Harrington Magnesite Plant.

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Earlier in the war:

Later in the war: