The magnesium alloy AZ31 was processed by severe hot rolling and annealing. This processing was optimised to produce recrystallised grain sizes as small as 2.2μm. Specimens in the as-rolled condition had a grain size of 0.5μm, and exhibited a yield strength in excess of 350MPa. In the fully recrystallised condition, with a grain size of 2.2μm, the material had a yield strength of 260MPa which is almost twice that of the as-received plate. The ductility of the annealed specimens was also increased compared to the as-received condition. The combination of specific strength and ductility brings this newly processed material into a new property space compared to the other light metals.