Please look up Queensland Magnesia (QMAG) and Australian Magnesium Corporation (AMC).
The former has been struggling for over 20 years to try and make money out of doing exactly what they propose. The original project was quite viable and then the Chinese came along during construction and prices dropped by 60%.
The later was a spin off to try and make more money from the same resource and also enable QMAG to make a lower grade Magnesia product to sell to AMC as part of the metal making process. We got to basic construction before the project went belly up due to cost over runs and no willing support by others due to the Chinese again crashing the metal market with low grade cheap process.
Noranda CEO often quotes, "how to make a small fortune from magnesium, start with a bigger one". Their company built Magnola in Canada using waste mine tailings. 18mth operation that plant before they closed thanks to the Chinese. This happen 18mths before AMC went bust. Their older 2nd smelter finally closed 10 years back and they bought some magnesite from QMAG again due to the Chinese.
Had AMC not had the cost over runs and actually finished the project, its highly likely the company would have eventually gone broke during the later high $A. QMAG only made a few profits and paid one dividend until AMC was wound up and QMAG sold off by the receivers. Thankfully the Chinese could never make the high end product, nor very few other magnesia plants world wide, the only thing that saved QMAG.
QMAG is still running under a different name, Sibelco, but obviously not smooth sailinghttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-30/sibelco-axes-57-jobs-from-central-qld-magnesia-mining-operations/6898862
its also no longer an Australian company.