High-quality neodymium metal produced

Highlights:

  • Successful production of 7.6 kg of neodymium metal
  • Assay confirms neodymium produced is at 99.8% purity
  • Metal purity is higher than typically traded neodymium metal
  • Validation of the patented carbon-free metallisation technology for rare earth metals

ASM’s Korean JV partner, ZironTech, has successfully completed the first production run of neodymium (Nd) metal in its commercial pilot plant. The production of 7.6 kg of neodymium metal assaying 99.8 per cent Nd from its patented reduction process in South Korea. The metal has been produced at a higher purity than typically traded neodymium metal.

ASM continues to progress a metalisation program using its innovative low emission, high purity metal refining technology to produce metals of zirconium, titanium, rare earths and other critical materials used for the renewable energy, speciality alloys and permanent magnet markets.

ASM’s JV is advancing the final commissioning of the electro-refining plant and is currently progressing the production of other key metals including zirconium, praseodymium, and dysprosium; which are all essential for the new technologies and advanced manufacturing markets in Australia and globally.

As previously advised, the commissioning of the electrorefining section of the pilot plant is progressing well. This process is expected to produce high purity (99.9%) titanium metal with results expected in August 2020. Further pilot plant runs are planned to produce additional neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, as well as other Dubbo products, in metallic form.

Australian Strategic Materials Managing Director, David Woodall said:

“This is a significant result for ASM, as this process has resulted in the production of neodymium metal at a higher purity than typically traded. My team and I have travelled to South Korea to discuss the significant potential of ASM’s integrated strategy with various Korean government and business groups. This also allows me to see the progress made by the great ZironTech team and to celebrate this major milestone with them.

Our strategy of integrating the products from our Dubbo Project into metals that can deliver to end use customers continues as we progress clean metal production and secure the financing needed for project development.

It is possible that a standalone clean metal plant could be built in Korea to feed critical metals to Korean industry, but also possible that another clean metal plant could be located within Australia to feed critical metals for advanced Australian manufacturing.”

Today marks the first day as a standalone ASX listed entity for ASM, trading as ASX:ASM.

View the ASX Release

ASM demerger from Alkane complete

Alkane Resources (ASX: ALK) has announced that the in specie distribution and transfer of Australian Strategic Materials Limited (ASX: ASM) shares to Alkane Eligible Shareholders and the Sale Agent, completed yesterday, in line with the timetable detailed in the Demerger Booklet released to the ASX on 17 June 2020.

The total number of ASM shares on issue is 119,049,778.

Holding statements were dispatched to ASM shareholders yesterday. ASM’s share register is managed by Advanced Share Registry. ASM shareholders can contact Advanced Share Registry with any questions regarding their shareholding on 1300 113 258 (within Australia) or +61 8 9389 8033 (outside Australia).

The ASX has indicated that all requirements for listing have been met and that ASM’s first day of trading is confirmed to be Thursday, 30 July 2020.

The demerger completes the process that allows ASM to focus on becoming a key Australian producer of critical materials and Alkane to focus exclusively on becoming Australia’s next multi-mine gold producer.

Read the full ASX release

Up to 50% energy saving confirmed by subsequent titanium metal production

Highlights:

  • Subsequent run of pilot plant produces another 22kg of titanium metal alloy
  • This test run confirms this patented metal production method uses up to 50% less energy than current commercial production methods
  • Electrorefining process to produce high purity (99.9%) titanium metal progressing with results expected in August

ASM’s Joint Venture (JV) with Korean R&D partner ZironTech has successfully produced another run of titanium metal alloy at the JV commercial pilot plant in South Korea. This subsequent run produced approximately 22kg and confirmed energy savings of up to 50% compared to current commercial production methods.

ASM is successfully progressing the pilot plant testwork on low emission, high purity metal technology to produce zirconium, titanium and rare earths for permanent magnet metals. The production of metals indicates significant cost benefits to ASM’s integrated business strategy and is key in the development of the Dubbo Project to supply critical materials.

The commissioning of the electrorefining section of the pilot plant is proceeding, which will produce ultra-high purity metal, including neodymium, praseodymium, other rare earth metals, zirconium and hafnium metal.

ASM Managing Director, David Woodall said, “Our progress towards an independent fully integrated ’mine to metal‘ business of critical materials is continuing very well. ASM’s focus is to be a stable, secure and alternate supplier of clean metals for the domestic and global markets with the production of these metals coming from our Dubbo Project in Central West NSW. The clean metal technology can be applied to all the products from the Dubbo Project with our focus on the key critical materials of neodymium, dysprosium, zirconium, hafnium and praseodymium.

“ASM management is currently in Korea to progress discussions on the commencement of a definitive feasibility of a clean metals plant and the progress of a joint Australian / Korean strategy that could ensure supply security and stability of these critical materials to the Australian and Korean manufacturing sectors.”

ASM continues with the optimisation of the Dubbo Project through the integration of flotation into the proven flowsheet seeking improved project capital and operating costs. ASM’s JV partner continues work which reinforces our metallisation strategy focussing on the products that will be sourced from the Dubbo Project.

Read the full ASX release

ASM demerger approved

ASM’s parent company Alkane Resources has announced that shareholders have approved the demerger of ASM.

Key points:

  • Alkane shareholders overwhelmingly approve the Demerger of ASM, with both resolutions tabled at the Extraordinary General Meeting passed.
  • ASM will become one of Australia’s preeminent specialty materials development companies when it lists on the ASX, which is on track, and expected on or around 30 July.
  • Alkane will become a pure-play Australian gold company with balance sheet strength, a quality production asset in Tomingley, and an exciting development pathway with one of Australia’s most significant exploration discoveries at Boda.

Chairman Ian Gandel commented, “The board is delighted that Alkane shareholders have supported this critical corporate initiative for our company with such an overwhelming majority. Indeed, in excess of 99.9% of votes cast at the meeting were in favour of the Demerger transaction

“During implementation planning, and with the appointment of David Woodall as Managing Director of ASM earlier in the year, we are already seeing the benefits of a clear strategic focus for both companies.”

Read the full ASX Release

 

JV produces high quality neodymium metal alloy

Australian Strategic Materials’ (ASM) Korean research and development partner, ZironTech has completed its preliminary work on the metallisation of neodymium oxide feed producing approximately 1kg of neodymium metal alloy in the laboratory from its patented reduction process in South Korea. The JV is targeting 45% less energy use in its rare earth metallisation process than the current industrial process.

NeodymiumHighlights:

  • Successful laboratory production of ~ 1kg of neodymium metal alloy.
  • Assaying confirms an intermediate neodymium (87%) alloy ingot.
  • Electrorefining to produce a 99.9% Nd metal is anticipated by the end of July.
  • Commercial Pilot Plant production of larger quantities of neodymium and praseodymium metal alloys expected to be complete at the end of July 2020.
  • Metallisation process targets 45% less energy for rare earth metal production than the current industrial process.

This is the first stage of the production of critical metals used in a range of sustainable technologies and new manufacturing industries such as renewable energy and electric vehicle production.

ASM, with its Korean JV partner, will continue to progress the innovative low emission, high purity metal refining technology to produce metals of zirconium, titanium, rare earths and other critical materials for the renewable energy, speciality alloys and permanent magnet markets.

As noted previously, the commissioning of the electrorefining section of the pilot plant, which will produce high purity metal, is planned in July 2020. Further pilot plant runs are planned to produce neodymium, praseodymium, and other rare earths in metallic form.

Australian Strategic Materials Managing Director, David Woodall said: “This is a major milestone in ASM’s integrated strategy that includes clean metal production for all products from the development of the Dubbo Project in Central West NSW. This integration of metal production into ASM’s business is consistent with the Australian Government’s objective of adding value within Australia, while ensuring supply security and stability of these critical materials to global and domestic Australian manufacturing sectors.”

ASM and its JV partner continue to progress the second phase of its metallisation strategy focussing on the production of zirconium metal in July 2020, focused on delivering significantly improved economics of its Dubbo project as well as giving it an involvement in the wider commercialisation of a breakthrough technology.

Read the ASX Release

ASM’S JV produces titanium metal alloy with 45% power saving

Highlights include:

  • Commercial pilot plant commissioned on time and on budget
  • ~30kg of titanium metal alloy was produced during the commissioning of the Commercial
    pilot plant
  • In the next phase, the alloy will be used to produce high purity (99.9%) titanium metal via
    the Electro refining process
  • The patented method of metal production utilizes 45% less power than current industry methods

ASM’s Korean research and development partner, ZironTech has successfully produced a titanium metal alloy with the patented reduction process at the JV’s commercial pilot plant in South Korea.

Typically, in metal production, energy costs accounted between 30 – 40% of total costs. The production of the titanium metal alloy utilising 45% less power indicates significant cost benefits to ASM’s integrated business strategy.

ASM’s Managing Director, David Woodall said: “This is a significant milestone in the development of our integrated business plan that includes clean metal production from the development of the Dubbo Project in Central West NSW. The clean metal technology can be applied to all the products from the Dubbo Project.”

Read the Full ASX Release

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