Tom Tripp

Director of Technical Services and Development

United States Magnesium


Tom Tripp received a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah in 1977. He has 40 years of diverse industrial experience the manufacture of metal from raw materials. Tom is currently employed by US Magnesium as the Director of Technical Services and Development, and has previously he has held various positions in production management, engineering and other technical functions.  US Magnesium derives it raw materials from the waters of the Great Salt Lake, and Tom has been closely associated with Great Salt Lake issues since 1982. In his current position, he is also responsible for the management of process engineering, quality assurance, production of raw materials, as well as dealing with some government agencies. He is involved in various trade organizations involving magnesium and chlorine. He has been a board member of the Utah Geologic Survey and a member of the advisory committee of the Utah Dept of Fire Forestry and State Lands. Since 2004 he has been a member of the United Nation’s International Project on Climatic Change (IPCC) that deals with topics related global warming and other environmental issues. Tom lives in Grantsville and is an elected member of the Grantsville City Council – Grantsville residents are highly involved with mineral extraction on the Great Salt Lake.

 Published peer reviewed papers on Great Salt Lake topics:

  • Great Salt Lake - An Overview of Change (chapter on magnesium production), UDNR Publication 2002; W. Gwynn editor.
  • A Brief History of the Great Salt Lake, Man and Minerals at the International Conference on Management of Submerged Lands 2003, Park City, UT
  • Production of Magnesium from the Great Salt Lake, Tom Tripp, International Society of Saline Lake Researchers, May 2008, Salt Lake City UT

Title: How the Changing Great Salt Lake Salinity Affects Magnesium Production

Wednesday, May 9th, 11:00 AM

Abstract: US Magnesium (and predecessors) have produced magnesium metal and other commodity chemicals from the salts contained in the Great Salt Lake water since 1972. Over that that period, the salinity on the Great Salt Lake has varied with the lake elevation, but the data show that there has been a significant decline in the salt inventory in the South Arm of the Lake as minerals have migrated to the North Arm through the openings in the railroad causeway. This decrease in salinity has affected the production capacity and economic vitality of mineral extraction industries located on the South Arm of the Lake.


Why We Care

  • Several years ago I was enchanted by Alfred Lambourne’s romanticized paintings of the Great Salt Lake, so began my own quest to explore its islands and capture what I saw in quick, plein air, oil sketches.

    I made many day-trips to Black Rock and spent a significant amount of time camping on Stansbury and Antelope Islands, climbing their trails and swimming in their bays. My paintings became my diary as I observed the changing light and shadow on the rocks and water. The brine flies and gnats often hovered over my shoulder anxious to immortalize themselves in the sticky colorful oil paint.

    Kirk Henrichsen, Alfred Lambourne Prize Participant