The Pioneer Magnesia Works was established in 1915 at Kharagodha in the Little Rann (Desert) of Kutch. Prior to that the two founders, Behramji Lalkaka, Esq., JP, and his cousin the Hon'ble Sardar Sir Rustom Vakil, had started making magnesium chloride by carting the bitterns from that region all the way to Ahmedabad by train in 1913, for further process. By 1915 these two gentlemen ventured forth into the wild and arid region of Kharagodha, where the raw material "bitterns" was available. It was considered the best magnesium chloride in the world. It was exported all over the British Empire.

At that time it was an absolutely essential textile auxiliary, imported from Germany. Anticipating the outbreak of hostilities with Germany, Sir Rustom, who was then the President of the Gujarat Mill Owners Association set up the unit.

The region was not entire new to the two founders whose forefathers had made their presence felt in the area almost a century before then. After the Peshwa's exit from Gujarat, Mr. Dunlop, the Collector of Ahmedabad sent a report on October 2nd, 1820, captioned"Practicability of deriving Revenue from a Salt Monopoly in Bombay Presidency". Encouraged by this report the House of Commons authorized the East India Company to form a Select Committee in 1836. The entire desert region was surveyed by Douglas Murdoch and James Gillander in 1837.
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