The Middle East peace process combined with the world auto industry's rapidly growing demand for magnesium has brought Germany's Volkswagen to Israel. On June 6, the giant German auto maker announced that it was taking a 35% stake in a $600 million joint venture with Israel's Dead Sea Works Ltd. to extract magnesium from the Dead Sea. The salt lake holds the world's largest untapped reserves of the metal, which is used in lightweight materials for cars.

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