ASM and Dongkuk sign agreement to construct a 250kg/day commercial plant


  • Design, develop, assemble, install and verify a 250kg commercial grade continuous reduction system using the Ziron Tech patented metal-refining technology
  • ASM will retain ownership of intellectual property and commercial rights to the Ziron Tech technology

ASM and Dongkuk Refractory and Steel (DK R&S) have signed a joint development agreement for a 250kg/day metal plant incorporating the innovative and patented low emission, high purity metal-refining technology in Korea to be acquired by ASM through the acquisition of a 95% interest in Zirconium Technology Corporation (Ziron Tech).

ASM Managing Director, David Woodall said, “The agreement with DK R&S brings together the strengths of ASM with its innovative metal technology and DK R&S, a leading innovative manufacturer of metals and refractory products within the Korean and global markets.

“This production facility will prove Ziron Tech’s patented low emission, high purity metal-refining technology at scale, paving the way for a 3,000 to 5,000 tonne per year metal plant in Korea. Our team in Korea is now progressing the confirmation of the continuous commercial metal production process with significant benefits for Korea, Australia, and the global customers that are faced with changing dynamics in the critical metals supply chain.”

Established in 1974, DK R&S, a subsidiary of DKI, has been supplying refractories, fine ceramics, steel manufacture to various industries globally and domestically within Korea for over 46 years. Dongkuk Industries Group was founded as Daewonsa in 1967, and is recognised as a global leader of cold rolled steel, refractories, and tubular wind power towers.

The Dongkuk Industries Group (“DKG”) includes Dongkuk Industries, Dongkuk Refactory and Steel, Dongkuk Structural and Construction, and DK DongShin. The DKG is recognised in Korea for innovation and the development of technology.

Key terms of the ASM and DK R&S Joint Development Agreement for the Commercial Test Plant are as follows:

  • Design, develop, construct, install and verify a 250kg per day commercial grade continuous reduction system
  • 250kg reduction furnace, design, assembly, and verification will be undertaken at facilities operated by DK R&S under the supervision of a temporary Joint Task Force, with the completed furnace jointly owned by ASM and DK R&S
  • The total budget for designing, developing, assembling and installing of the Commercial Test Plant is USD 1 million paid in a 60:40 ratio between DK R&S and ASM
  • Basic and detailed design of the Commercial Test Plant to be complete within four months from the date of the Agreement
  • Ownership of relevant intellectual property is retained by ASM
  • The agreement will terminate if the testing is not successful within 12 months of signing.

ASM is continuing to progress strategic partner, offtake and financing discussions in Korea. The discussions are preliminary and remain incomplete and it is uncertain whether any of these discussions will lead to a proposal for the consideration of ASM’s directors or shareholders.


Read the full ASX Announcement