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Australian Strategic Metals opens plant in Korea

| By Scott Jenkins

A new metals production plant opened in Korea today will play a key role in securing the global supply chain for critical minerals and metals products.

Australian Strategic Materials Ltd’s (ASM; West Perth, Australia; Korean Metals Plant is designed to convert oxides of rare earths and critical metals into high purity metals needed for strategically important industries.

The United States, Australian and South Korean governments have identified the need to diversify their sources of critical minerals supply, as the materials produced from them are used in strategically important areas such as defence, aerospace and clean energy technologies.

The Korean Metals Plant (KMP) will produce critical metals and alloys to customer specifications, using ASM’s patented, energy efficient metallisation process.

The initial focus will be on neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) and titanium alloy. Neodymium iron boron is a key component of permanent magnets used in electric vehicles and wind turbines, while titanium alloys have uses across multiple high-tech industries.

ASM Managing Director David Woodall said the Korean Metals Plant would play an integral role in providing an alternative and secure source of critical metals for Australia and its strategic partners.  It would also provide economic opportunities for both Australia and Korea.

“We also know that global demand for the critical metals crucial to industries shaping our planet’s future is predicted to outstrip supply.  Our Korean Metals Plant represents a new source for these critical metals.  Products from the plant will help to de-risk and relieve bottlenecks in the global supply chain.”

The ASM Korean Metals Plant is operated by the company’s wholly owned subsidiary Korean Strategic Materials and Metals (KSMM).  The plant is an integral part of ASM’s vertically integrated mine to metals business model.  Future metals plants based on its success are planned in other strategic geographic locations.  They will be supported by raw materials mined and processed at ASM’s Dubbo Project.

ASM is a vertically integrated materials business and emerging “mine to metals” producer of critical metals. The company’s cornerstone Dubbo Project (100% owned) is a potential long-term resource of rare earths, zirconium, niobium, and hafnium located in central-western NSW, Australia. It represents an alternative, sustainable and secure source of these metals, critical for a diverse range of advanced and clean technologies.