The pyrometallurgical production of metals has undergone major technological development over the last fifty years. However, important technological and scientific challenges remain, in particular, in developing high productivity routes to light metals and in utilising renewable energy in metals production. There has been considerable progress in developing new pyrometallurgical routes for Aluminium, Magnesium and Titanium over the last decade. The author and his co-workers have made significant progress in developing a new carbothermic route to Magnesium and in evaluating alternate routes to Aluminium. In this work, a combination of computational modelling techniques and novel laboratory apparatus has been used to test and optimise new process concepts. In designing a supersonic quenching apparatus for magnesium vapours, models that combine computational fluid dynamics and condensation kinetics were used to optimise the design. This combination of modelling and novel laboratory scale testing is also evident in the author’s works on developing solar thermal routes to metals production, where a unique solar simulator has been developed for testing reactor concepts. Research groups in Europe and North America have been combining both challenges by researching solar thermal routes to light metals production.