Global mining executive Ms Rowena Smith appointed ASM CEO




Global mining executive Ms Rowena Smith, has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of ASM, after former Managing Director, Mr David Woodall stepped down.

Ms Smith has been ASM’s Chief Operating Officer since joining the company in 2021. During this time she has led ASM’s critical minerals and rare earths Dubbo Project team, and overseen the construction and commissioning of ASM’s first high purity metals plant in Korea.

In announcing Ms Smith’s appointment, ASM Chair Mr Ian Gandel said:

“The Board is delighted to appoint Ms Smith as CEO.  She has demonstrated she is a highly capable leader, with extensive experience and an impressive track record in the mining sector.”

“The Board has confidence Ms Smith’s appointment will deliver a seamless leadership transition, enabling ASM to continue to focus on delivering its mine-to-metals strategy.“

Ms Smith said she was thrilled to accept the CEO role at such a crucial time for ASM and the global critical metals industry.

I am excited to be taking up the leadership of ASM through this next phase of its development, particularly as we seek to progress our Dubbo Project and supply industry with the high-tech metals vital for a sustainable energy future

Ms Rowena Smith

“This is a crucial time for our industry, and for Australia, to claim its place on the world stage with critical minerals and rare earths projects like Dubbo, which can offer quality and reliable, supply alternatives to a currently heavily monopolised and unstable global market.”

“I look forward to leading the ASM team as CEO and taking the next steps in our journey together.”

Ms Smith has almost 30 years of global mining experience in various senior roles including strategy, commercial, operations and ESG.  Prior to joining ASM, Ms Smith was South32’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President Supply, leading teams across Australia, South Africa, Mozambique, Colombia and the United States.

Ms Smith has also held roles with Rio Tinto and BHP for Nickel West, including as Head of Resource Planning & Development and Projects, Manager Strategy and Acquisitions, and General Manager Kwinana Nickel Refinery.

ASM and Toongi Pastoral Company announce partnership with Macquarie Anglican Grammar School

Craig Mansour, Macquarie Anglican Grammar School and Fergus Job, TPC

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) and our subsidiary Toongi Pastoral Company (TPC) are excited to announce our partnership with Macquarie Anglican Grammar School’s new – Macquarie Agricultural Pathways Program!

Starting next term, the program will see a targeted group of students in Year 7 at the school, engage in weekly farm visits to TPC sites. The students will play an active role in day to day farm operations and be exposed to all areas of an environmental and agricultural business.  They will be able to apply their learnings in areas of mathematics, science and technology (STEM), and agriculture in a real-world context.

This is at the core of what we are striving to achieve at Macquarie, the development of resilient young people who are ready and willing to make a difference in the world. We educate students to be all that they can be. This means, we need to meet our young at their point of need. This program allows us to work together to develop them as highly-skilled, well-rounded leaders of Agriculture

Headmaster Craig Mansour, Macquarie Anglican Grammar School

Macquarie’s Agricultural Pathways Program will assist students in transitioning what they learn in the classroom into their real world, and to develop the skills necessary for employment in the Agriculture sector directly, or to prepare for entry into Tertiary-based programs.

Together, we are moulding opportunities for students who haven’t yet found their `fit’ in traditional education pathways. At TPC we want to engage and inspire these students, and expand the choices available to them, now and later in life.

Fergus Job, Manager at Toongi Pastoral Company

We look forward to welcoming the first group of students to the program next term.

Quarterly Activities Report to 31 March 2022

The Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) Quarterly Activities Report to 31 March 2022 has been released.

Key points for the Quarter include:

  • Buildings and facilities at the Korean Metals Plant (KMP) were completed, with the Plant Registration certificate received on 7 April 2022. The installation and commissioning of the first phase of the KMP will continue in the second quarter, and is planned to have an installed capacity of 2,200 tpa.
  • Due diligence on the Dubbo Project was completed by the Korean Consortium Fund (KCF), comprising Cerritos Holdings Co., Ltd, Kamur Partners LLC and ACE Equity Partners LLC.
  • A Heads of Agreement (HOA) was signed with Hyundai Engineering Corporation Co., Ltd., (HEC) to exclusively negotiate the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) and the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) for the Dubbo Project. While work is continuing with HEC, the delivery of a contract for the initial FEED has been delayed while both ASM and HEC finalise the scope, which includes more detailed engineering in key work packages.
  • ASM continued to work on progressing the financing of the Dubbo Project. During the quarter, an Expression of Interest from the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure) was received to potentially provide export credit insurance support to ASM for financing the development of the Dubbo Project.
  • A Modification Report to the Dubbo Project State Significant Development consent was submitted to the NSW government. The report incorporated ASM’s proposed plan and design improvements, resulting from the Optimisation Study completed in December 2021. Once submitted, public consultation commenced, with the exhibition and public submission period opening on 30 March 2022 and closing on 19 April 2022.
  • The composition of the ASM Board changed during the quarter. Mr Ian Chalmers, Non-Executive Director, retired. Mr Chalmers delivered vital leadership to establish the foundation of ASM, particularly in developing the Dubbo Project. ASM welcomed to the Board, Ms Kerry Gleeson LLB (Hons), FAICD, as a Non-Executive Director.

ASM signs Exclusive Heads of Agreement with Hyundai Engineering Corporation

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has announced that following ongoing discussions with HEC in relation to the development of the Dubbo Project, it has signed a Heads of Agreement with Hyundai Engineering Corporation Co., Ltd., to exclusively negotiate with HEC the delivery of the FEED, which could progress to the EPC.

The agreement for the exclusive negotiation follows the request for proposal process run by ASM for FEED for the Dubbo Project, where HEC have been identified by ASM as the preferred candidate based on HEC’s experience and capability.

Under the HoA, ASM and HEC have entered into an exclusivity period for the award of FEED by 31 March 2022 and subject to the successful delivery of FEED for the award of EPC until 25 February 2023. The Company’s current target is for the FEED contract to be awarded in Q1 2022, and for the delivery of the FEED in Q4 2022. The terms of the FEED and any EPC (including the price, scope, and schedule) are yet to be agreed by the parties.

ASM Managing Director David Woodall said exclusively engaging with HEC was another key milestone in moving the Dubbo Project towards a Final Investment Decision and demonstrates the support the Dubbo Project has from key stakeholders in Korea.

The team at HEC are impressive being at the forefront of providing innovative and sustainable engineering solutions that will enable the successful delivery of our Dubbo Project, a key to our “mine to metal” strategy.

Meeting HEC CEO Mr Kim Chang-Hag and his team shows the quality project partner HEC brings.  The desire of both HEC and ASM to work in partnership to deliver the Dubbo Project with significant benefits to both Korea and Australia puts us in a great position as we continue discussions with Korean financial institutions to fund the development of Dubbo.

Mr David Woodall

HEC Chief Executive Officer Kim Chang-Hag said:

HEC has delivered large projects successfully globally, and we are delighted to be working with ASM on FEED progressing to EPC to develop the Dubbo Project. We believe we can deliver an innovative and optimised solution to support the development of the Dubbo Project and ASM’s critical metals business in a partnership that helps Korea secure the critical metals it needs for its manufacturing industries.

Download the ASX Announcement

Quarterly Activities Report to 30 December 2021

The Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) Quarterly Activities Report to 30 December 2021 has been released.

Highlights for the Quarter included:

  • Released the Dubbo Project Optimisation Study
    – A capital cost estimate of AUD 1,678 million with pre-tax NPV of AUD 2,361 million, pre-tax IRR of 23.5%, and annual free cash flow (full ramp-up) of AUD 425 million
  • Commenced hot commissioning of ASM’s Korean Metals Plant
  • Deputy Prime Minister of South Korea, Mr Hong Nam-ki, visited ASM’s Korean Metals Plant
  • Signed a Joint Statement of Cooperation with the Korean Mine Rehabilitation and Resource Corporation (KOMIR) to enable the supply of critical minerals and metals into Korea
  • Appointed Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ( ANZ) as financial advisor for the debt financing of the Dubbo Project
  • Hosted the NSW Deputy Premier, The Hon Paul Toole MP, at ASM’s Toongi deposit for the launch of the NSW Critical Minerals and High-tech Metals Strategy
  • Attended a roundtable meeting on the Critical Minerals Supply Chain with the President of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Mr Moon Jae in

Korean Consortium successfully completes due diligence on the Dubbo Project

Australian Strategic Materials Limited (ASM) is pleased to advise that the consortium of South Korean Investors, comprising Cerritos Holdings Co., Ltd, Kamur Partners LLC and ACE Equity Partners LLC, (the Investing Partnership) has successfully completed due diligence on the Company’s flagship Dubbo Project. This represents a key milestone in progressing the consortium fund’s proposed conditional investment under the Framework Agreement. (see ASX Announcement: 21 July 2021)

After a delay due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, ASM recently hosted an extensive Australian due diligence visit by the Investing Partnership. This included visiting the Company’s Dubbo Project and discussing ASM’s research partnerships and business activities in Australia.

ASM’s Managing Director, David Woodall, said the completion of due diligence to the satisfaction of the Investing Partnership had taken place in parallel with continued progress on the remaining formal binding terms of the consortium’s investment.

“We are very pleased to have successfully concluded the due diligence process. Together we are now focused on securing a significant South Korean strategic investor to partner with ASM on its Dubbo Project, and to completing the terms for a formal binding agreement.”

“Our relationship with our Korean partners continues to go from strength to strength,” Mr Woodall said.

Spokesperson for the Investing Partnership, CEO and Founder of Cerritos Holdings Co., Ltd, Pumsoo Ra said the Investing Partnership was committed to working with ASM to finalise an investment in relation to the Company.

“It is clear that ASM has the resources and technical capacity to partner with us to support the supply chain of critical metals needed for the production of clean energy technologies such as electric vehicles and renewable energy generation capacity, as well as advanced electronics,” Mr Ra said.

“We need that supply chain to be secure and reliable, and we look forward to continuing our discussions with ASM and our partners in Korea.”

ASM will continue to update the market as further milestones are reached.

Download the ASX Announcement

 

Kerry Gleeson appointed non-executive Board director

Ms Kerry Gleeson

Australian Strategic Materials Limited (ASM) is pleased to advise the appointment of Kerry Gleeson as Non-Executive Director to the Board effective 1 February 2022.

Ms Gleeson is an experienced independent Non-Executive Director, chair and committee member with over two decades of experience as a director, senior executive and board advisor of various ASX listed companies. She has worked nationally and internationally across broad and complex industry sectors, including mining and resources, industrial and agri-chemicals, manufacturing, transport and distribution and international education.

Ms Gleeson is a qualified lawyer in both the UK and Australia, and spent 15 years in private practice, including as a partner of an English law firm, before emigrating to Melbourne and joining Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst). Ms Gleeson’s other current roles include Non-Executive Director of St Barbara Limited, New Century Resources Ltd and Chrysos Corporation Ltd. She is also the Chair of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne.

Commenting on her appointment Ms Gleeson said:

ASM is entering an exciting stage of the Company’s development and I am thrilled to be joining as ASM enters its next phase. I am looking forward to working with the Board and management to build on the impressive momentum ASM has already created.

ASM Chair Mr Ian Gandel said:

“I am delighted to welcome Kerry to the ASM Board. Kerry’s strong leadership skills, technical capability and commercial expertise will help drive us forward through the next phase of our development.

This exciting phase includes the production of critical metals in South Korea, progressing the development of the Dubbo Project and looking for opportunities to grow our global ’mine to metals’ business.”

Download the ASX Announcement

ASM