The company said the new division will lead the process of formally engaging with companies in the various industries, such as automotive, aerospace, and eco-friendly technology companies as well as the US government and the Department of Defense that have a vested interest in the production of magnesium metal.
In a statement, Western Magnesium said Michael Pickholz, a mechanical engineer with over 30 years’ experience in product development, program management, domestic and international automotive business development, will lead the new division. Part of Pickholz’s mandate is to continue dialogue and to formalize relationships with industries and companies that the company is already engaging with.
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Pickholz was formerly the head of the Aftermarket and Innovation Products division for Magneti-Marelli, an international automotive lighting manufacturer. He is highly experienced in engineering, product development, program management, domestic and international automotive business development coupled with an established performance record of accomplishment.
Western Magnesium said his broad technical experience and background enhance a demonstrated ability to develop out-of-the-box, successful solutions, which have lead to the creation and implementation of numerous cost-effective as well as patented technologies such as the production application of Magnesium Thixoformed lamp housings/heat sinks and exposed, external Silicone Optics technologies for automotive exterior LED Lighting.
“Mr Pickholz is the right individual for this position. His background in working with different industries and his knowledge of magnesium metal makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Sales and Corporate Partnerships Division,” said Western Magnesium CEO Sam Ataya in a statement.
“With the growing demand of this highly sought after lightweight material, I look forward to working with him on establishing Western Magnesium as the premier green magnesium metal supplier in the United States.”
Pickholz prepared for his new role
In preparation for his role, the company said Pickholz joined its board two years ago to start the planning and initiate dialogue with different industries for such time that Western Magnesium was ready to start the new division.
The company’s goal is to be a low-cost producer of green, primary magnesium metal, a strategic commodity prized for its strength and light weight. Unlike outdated and costly production processes, the company looks to use a continuous silicothermic process to produce magnesium, which significantly reduces labor and energy costs relative to current methods and processes, while being environmentally friendly.
The group is building out its first commercialized pilot plant in Canada to become a low-cost producer of eco-friendly magnesium metal by the first quarter of 2021.
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