The Korean Government has awarded US$4.5 million in grants to ASM’s Korean R&D partner Zirconium Technology Corporation (ZironTech) to use to progress its commitment to the Joint Venture (JV) with ASM. The grants were awarded as part of the Korean Government’s US$5 billion Industrial Technological Program, led by the Korean Ministry of Industry, Trade and Resources as it seeks to establish clean metal supply independence and advance material technology for future market demand.
ZironTech has received funding for the development of a low emission, high purity metal refining technology that can be applied to zirconium, titanium, rare earths for permanent magnet alloys. This development is occurring in JV with ASM who has the exclusive rights to the commercialisation of the technology worldwide. The technology is intended to replace conventional energy-intensive metallisation processes with a more environmentally friendly, sustainable and cost-effective alternative.
Australian Strategic Materials Managing Director, David Woodall said: “We are pleased that both ASM and the technology we are developing in partnership with ZironTech has been recognised by the Korean Government as critical in its journey to ensuring sovereign supply for critical materials. The technology to produce critical metals adds value to our project and is key to the growth of Korea’s and Australia’s new technology and manufacturing sectors, with the strong government focus on increasing domestic production to secure supply stability.”
The JV between ASM and ZironTech is finalising the commissioning of its commercial pilot plant facility to produce these high-purity metals in parallel with developing the design for the world’s first commercial-scale metal plant.