Dubbo Project awarded $500,000 research & development grant

ASM’s Dubbo Project has received grant funding of $500,000 under Stream 1 of the NSW Government’s Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund, announced by the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Resources, the Hon. Paul Toole MP.

ASM was awarded the grant for studies to finalise the process flowsheet for the Dubbo Project’s Heavy Rare Earths solvent extraction circuit. This is being developed in collaboration with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

ASM CEO Rowena Smith thanked the NSW government for supporting the Dubbo Project through this Stream 1 funding round.

“Our Dubbo Project has multiple Rare Earth product lines, and this funding will play a key role in finalising the process to deliver terbium and dysprosium products,” Ms Smith said.

“With terbium and dysprosium not currently produced in NSW, commercial development of these products will benefit not just ASM but support the region and NSW as a whole, as the state looks to become a major global supplier and processor of critical minerals and high-tech metals into the future.”

ASM was one of 19 grant recipients announced who share in the more than $8.6 million allocated under Stream 1 of the NSW Government’s $130 million Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund.

Read more about NSW Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund and Deputy Premier’s announcement.

ASM signs MOU with Korean Development Bank

ASM and its subsidiary, KSM Metals Co., Ltd, have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korean Development Bank (KDB) and the Chungcheongbuk-do Province.

The MOU provides for cooperation in the areas of research and development, investment activities and development of a rare earths cluster in Chungcheongbuk-do, where ASM’s Korean Metals Plant is located.

The MOU was signed at a formal ceremony attended by Mr Byung Chul Jung, Executive Director, SME Banking Division of Korea Development Bank and Mr Myung-Kyoo Kim, Chungcheongbuk-do Vice Governor for Economic Affairs.

ASM’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms Rowena Smith, said of the MOU signing:

“ASM welcomes this opportunity to work with the Korean Development Bank and the Chungcheongbuk-do Provincial government to progress a rare earths cluster in the province.”

“We hope that by working together, we will strengthen the supply chain and see growth in magnet and battery producing operations in Chungcheongbuk-do Province where our flagship Metals Plant is located.”

Read ASX Announcement.

ASM’s first NdPr metal product delivered to customer, NS World.

It was a proud day for the team in Korea, as the first order of NdPr product was loaded onto the delivery truck and sent on its way.

The delivery is the first as part of the sales agreement recently signed with magnet manufacturer NS World for 10 tonnes of NdPr metal ingot, for delivery from September to December 2022.

Congratulations to all the team at the Korean Metals Plant who have worked with great dedication to make this first sale and delivery day possible.

Read more about the sales agreement here


First sale of NdPr metal from Korean Metals Plant

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) subsidiary, KSM Metals Co., Ltd, has signed a binding agreement (Sales Agreement) for the sale of neodymium praseodymium metal produced at its Korean Metals Plant with Korean company NS World Co., Ltd (NS World).

The Sales Agreement provides for the sale and delivery of up to 10 tonnes of neodymium praseodymium metal ingot from September 2022 to December 2022.

NS World intends to use this metal in the production of bonded magnets.

ASM’s Chief Executive Officer Rowena Smith said: “Securing the first sale of neodymium praseodymium ingot from our Korean Metals Plant is an important milestone for ASM.  In just over a year, we have taken our Korean Metals Plant from start of construction to commercial production.  This is a remarkable feat of dedication from our team.”

“Our commissioning and ramp-up at the Korean Metals Plant will continue over the second half of 2022.  We look forward to securing further sales contracts in the coming months and will update the market as contracts are finalised.”

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