Quarterly Activities Report to 30 September 2021

  • Signing a $US250m framework agreement with South Korean consortium for 20% interest in Dubbo Project and offtake from Korean Metals Plant (ASX Release 21 July 2021: Framework Agreement for 20% stake in Dubbo Project and Offtake)
  • Construction of the Korean Metals Plant continuing, commissioning planned to commence before calendar year end
  • The Dubbo Project optimisation study is being finalised, with results to be released on completion of final reporting
  • Inclusion in the S&P ASX/300 Index effective 30 September 2021 (S&P DJI Index Announcement 3 September 2021: S&P DJI Announces September 2021 Quarterly Rebalance)
  • Appointing ANZ as financial advisor for the debt financing of the Dubbo Project (ASX Release 6 October 2021: Dubbo Project Finance Update)

ASM’s Managing Director, David Woodall, said:

“As the global energy transition continues, so does the global need for an alternative, reliable supply of critical metals and during the quarter we took a significant step towards meeting that demand by signing a Framework Agreement with a consortium of Korean businesses that creates a pathway towards financing the Dubbo Project.

Progress has been made to support the completion of the due diligence on the Dubbo Project under the Framework Agreement, and for preparations to commence commissioning the Korean Metals Plant before the end of the year. While the impact of the delta variant of COVID-19 has slowed completion of our planned activities, I am proud of our Korean and Dubbo Project teams on what they have achieved in trying times. 

We are close to finalising the outcomes of the Dubbo Project optimisation study and look forward to updating the market with these outcomes. We continue to progress opportunities with Australian and Korean engineering and construction companies, including to provide key infrastructure and equipment planned for the Dubbo Project.

I have just spent 4 months in Korea to continue the progression of our development of delivering our “mine to metal” business. Looking ahead, ASM will continue to work with our Korean partners to progress the equity investment into the Dubbo Project; commission the Korea Metals Plant; and continue our discussions with financiers and potential offtake partners for our high purity, low emissions metals products.”

Dubbo Project Finance Update

Technical due diligence of the Dubbo Project occurring under the Framework Agreement with the Investing Partnership of Korean private equity firms (ASX Announcement: 21 July 2021) has advanced with significant effort made by both parties. However, due to Covid19 travel restrictions between Australia and Korea and on travel within Australia, and the extensive scope of the technical due diligence, the due diligence has not been completed by Q3 2021 as initially anticipated and is continuing to be progressed.

Separately, to facilitate the financing of the Dubbo Project, ASM has appointed Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) as debt financial advisor. ASM made this appointment based on ANZ’s experience and strong relationships in both Australia and Korea, including with Australian and Korean export finance agencies. The ANZ appointment is both necessary and timely as ASM is engaging with those agencies as part of the financing of the Dubbo Project.

ASM Managing Director David Woodall said, “The Framework Agreement is one part of the financing of the Dubbo Project, ANZ’s appointment facilitates further engagement with debt providers that include Australian and Korean export finance agencies. We continue to progress the financing of the Dubbo Project, the development of which will provide an alternate, sustainable, secure, and stable supply of high purity and clean critical metals directly into the Korean manufacturing sector.”

“We look forward to updating the market as we continue to progress the transaction.”