Basic Magnesium Inc. (BMI) was built by the Anaconda Copper Company for the Federal Government to produce magnesium - the lightest and strongest of metals - that was suddenly needed in large supply to build airplane bodies and other materials critical to the Allied effort during World War II. With 13,000 workers and at a cost of over $130 million, Basic Magnesium Inc. produced magnesium ingots to support the Allied war effort.
Nevada Senator Pat McCarran convinced Congress to allow Nevada to purchase the plant for $24 million. The terms included a $1 down payment, with the balance to be paid from leasing the facilities to private industries.
The magnesium plant was divided and privatized by Nevada, which sold various production facilities to several leading American manufacturers. They created Basic Management Inc. as a separate cooperative to own and manage utilities, such as water and power, within the industrial complex and for other users including the State of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Henderson. Basic Management Inc. still delivers water from Lake Mead to the State and Henderson. Remarkably, Basic Management Inc. has never missed a day's delivery.
The use of unlined, evaporation and percolation ponds on the site were permanently discontinued. TIMET, a titanium manufacturer, built a smaller series of lined evaporation ponds under permits issued by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP).
Six current and former companies at the Basic Management Inc. complex formed the Henderson Industrial Site Steering Committee (HISSC) to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP). The purpose of the agreement was to implement a multi-phased approach to assess and remediate properties contaminated by historic and previously legal waste-disposal practices.
The LandWell Company was formed to develop the remediated land to better serve the needs of Henderson and its residents. This includes purchasing the 2,200 acres being remediated by BMI for possible future development.
BMI negotiated with the Henderson Industrial Site Steering Committee (HISSC) members to take over the remediation activities of the site, enabling Basic Management, Inc. as the landowner, to perform the restoration of its property.
Final voluntary agreement was reached among the NDEP and current and former land owners and manufacturers at the Basic Magnesium complex. This set forth the framework by which to carry out the remediation process.