Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) opens critical metals plant in South Korea
A new metal production plant inaugurated today in Korea will play a key role in securing the global supply chain for critical mineral and metal products.
Australia – May 12, 2022 – Australian Strategic Materials Ltd (ASM) Korean Metals Plant is designed to convert rare earth and critical metal oxides into high purity metals needed by strategically important industries.
The governments of the United States, Australia and South Korea have identified the need to diversify their sources of supply of critical minerals, as the materials derived from them are used in strategic 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 metallization process.
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 in multiple high-tech industries.
During the opening of the Korea Metals Plant, ASM Managing Director Mr. David Woodall said the Korea Metals Plant will play a vital role in providing an alternative and safe source of critical metals for the Australia and its strategic partners. It would also provide economic opportunities for Australia and Korea.
“We also know that global demand for critical metals crucial to industries shaping the future of our planet is expected to exceed supply. Our Korean metals plant represents a new source for these critical metals. The factory’s products will help reduce risk and reduce bottlenecks in the global supply chain. »
Mr. Woodall also thanked the ASM staff and team in Korea for their fantastic achievement in completing construction of the plant within nine months of last year’s groundbreaking ceremony.
“The team in Korea, along with our construction partners have done a fantastic job in the design and delivery of this facility. It is an outstanding achievement by all, especially considering the difficulties we have faced with the delays and disruption due to covid,” he said.
The Korean Metals Plant is the flagship metallurgical plant of Australian Strategic Materials. It 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 mining-to-metals business model. Future metallurgy 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.
ABOUT AUSTRALIAN STRATEGIC MATERIALS
Australian Strategic Materials Ltd (ASM) is a vertically integrated materials company and an emerging “mine-to-metals” producer of critical metals. The cornerstone of the Company’s 100% owned Dubbo Project is a potential long-term rare earth, zirconium, niobium and hafnium resource located in west central New South Wales, Australia. It represents an alternative, sustainable and safe source of these metals, essential for a diverse range of advanced and clean technologies.
ASM’s metals business is based on an innovative metallization process that converts oxides into high-purity metals, alloys and powders using less energy than conventional methods. A pilot plant in South Korea demonstrated the commercial scalability of the process and successfully produced a range of high purity metals and alloys including titanium, neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and zirconium. Following this success, ASM’s first metallization plant was opened in South Korea to initially supply a range of critical metals including rare earth metals and alloys, zirconium and titanium.