ASM presents at KABC-AKBC Joint Meeting in Seoul

Participants from the 44th KABC-AKBC Joint Meeting in Seoul, South Korea

Australia’s long-standing partnership with South Korea continues to grow, as demonstrated at the recent 44th Australia Korea Business Council Joint Meeting in Seoul. The meeting brings together key decision makers in Government and industry from both countries and the ASM team was delighted to participate once again.

ASM was represented by a number of the team including Managing Director & CEO Rowena Smith, who had the privilege of sharing our ‘mine to metals’ story to an esteemed audience, including WA Premier the Hon Roger Cook.

ASM’s flagship Korean Metals Plant, which produced its first product in financial year 2023, is a great example of the growing ties between the two countries and the opportunities that exist to build new and emerging industries.

ASM Managing Director & CEO Rowena Smith on stage at the 44th KABC-AKBC Joint Meeting

WATCH: Critical Minerals Institute interviews Rowena Smith

ASM is proud to be a member of the Critical Minerals Institute (CMI), an international organisation of companies and professionals focused on battery materials, technology metals, defense metals, ESG technologies and practices, the electric vehicle market, and the use of critical minerals for energy and alternative energy production.

ASM CEO Rowena Smith recently sat down with CMI Co-Chair Jack Lifton and took a deep dive into the Company’s unique positioning in the rare earths industry.

Watch the full interview below, via the team at InvestorNews.

ASM appoints Chief Operating Officer

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) is pleased to advise the appointment of Mr Chris Jordaan as Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective 24 August 2023.

Mr Jordaan joins ASM with 31 years in operational and corporate leadership roles in the petrochemical, processing and mining industries in South Africa, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Prior to accepting the COO role, he was President and CEO of Superior Gold, a gold mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. He has also held senior leadership roles within Newcrest Mining, BHP and several South Africa-based companies.

“With Stage 1 of our EPC Definition work for our Dubbo Project now complete, and early establishment activities for the project underway, Chris is joining us at a crucial and exciting time in ASM’s operational development.

Chris has a substantial depth of experience and the leadership qualities required to progress our Dubbo Project, lead the ramp-up of ASM’s Korean Metals Plant and advance our metallisation technologies, particularly our innovative LK Process.

His skills and experience are perfectly suited to further develop and execute ASM’s mine to metals strategy.

Rowena Smith, ASM CEO & Managing Director

ASM awards Bechtel NPI study work to progress Dubbo Project

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) is pleased to announce the award of a consultancy services agreement to Bechtel Australia Pty Ltd (Bechtel) for the provision of engineering services for non-process infrastructure (NPI) study work to support advancing the Company’s Dubbo Project.

This work will contribute to developing capital and operating costs estimates key to ASM making its final investment decision (FID) on the Dubbo Project.

The Dubbo Project site

“We are pleased to confirm this agreement with Bechtel – a trusted partner with extensive experience in this area of work. With federal funding confirmed [for this work] in May, we have progressed in line with our project plan to put the contract in place, commence this important aspect of our early establishment activities and keep us on track for FID by the end of 2024.”

Rowena Smith, ASM Managing Director

Bechtel will commence work immediately, with the term of the contract running until 31 December 2024.

WATCH: Diggers & Dealers 2023 Presentation

The Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum is done for another year. Once again, Australian Strategic Materials was in the spotlight, with our Managing Director & CEO Rowena Smith taking to the stage to present ASM’s ‘mine to metals’ strategy.

It’s a strategy we’re already delivering on…ASM is building an alternative, integrated supply chain for rare earths and critical minerals. We are producing critical metals from our Korean Metals Plant. And our Dubbo Project – a globally significant rare earths, zirconia, niobium and hafnium deposit – is construction ready, with all major approvals in place.

Learn more about the story by watching Rowena’s Diggers & Dealers presentation below:

WATCH: Proactive Investor interview with Rowena Smith

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) Managing Director and CEO Rowena Smith, spoke to Proactive Investor’s Andrew Scott following the Company’s release of its latest Quarterly Report plus exciting news of a long-term binding sales agreement with US Rare Earth.

“This is the second alloy customer that we’ve announced in recent months for our Korean Metals Plant – both of them going into the USA. But this one is a five-year binding agreement where we will be supplying 60% of their raw material requirements for their magnet production facility in Oklahoma.”

Watch the full interview below…

ASM signs long-term metal sales and tolling framework agreement with USA Rare Earth

We are pleased to announce the signing of a five-year binding sales and tolling framework agreement (Framework Agreement) with USA Rare Earth, LLC (USARE) for the supply of neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) alloy.

The ASM and USA Rare Earth teams at the Korean Metals Plant.

The Framework Agreement enhances ASM’s growing customer portfolio and strengthens the Company’s strategic supply relationships with the US magnet production industry, via its Korean Metals Plant (KMP). The KMP will supply NdFeB alloy used to support USARE’s production ramp-up of high-performance rare earth magnets.

USA Rare Earth’s magnet manufacturing capability and approach to market makes them a perfect customer and partner for ASM. As we continue to increase our metal production output from our Korean Metals Plant, this long-term supply agreement demonstrates the growing demand and positive trajectory of the US rare earth magnet market.

Rowena Smith, ASM Managing Director

The supply of NdFeB alloy is expected to commence in 2024.

ASM signs three-way MOU with VTRE and Blackstone

Signing of agreement between ASM, BSX, and VTRE at Australian Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam. Back row: Hoa Nguyen (Austrade), Chris Morley (Austrade), Andrew Goledzinowski (Australian Ambassador to Vietnam), Ben Davies (Australian Embassy, Vietnam). Front row: Scott Williamson (MD BSX), Luu Anh Tuan (Chairman VTRE), Rowena Smith (MD ASM)

We are pleased to advise that ASM has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ASX-listed nickel producer Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX: BSX) (Blackstone), and rare earth element (REE) refiners, Vietnam Rare Earth Company (VTRE).

The MOU was signed at a formal ceremony at the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.

ASM Managing Director & CEO Rowena Smith said:

This MOU has the potential to drive a more collaborative approach within the rare earth elements and critical minerals sector and deliver positive outcomes for all parties involved.

We have already established a strong relationship with the VTRE team and I am excited by the progress they are making to increase their oxide production capacity. The partnership they are looking to build with Blackstone has the potential to benefit ASM’s existing supply of rare earth oxides for processing at the KMP.

Quarterly Activities Report to 30 June 2023

We are pleased to advise our Quarterly Activities Report to 30 June 2023 has been released.

In line with ASM’s strategic business priorities, this Quarter the Company:

  • Commenced a strategic partnership with US-based rare earth magnet manufacturer Noveon Magnetics Inc., with the sale of an initial 100 tonnes of NdFeB alloy from ASM’s Korean Metals Plant (KMP);
  • Secured the supply of rare earth oxides with a binding agreement with Vietnam Rare Earth Company, to ensure the continued ramp-up of production at the KMP;
  • Progressed its diversified funding strategy for the Dubbo Project via the award of a $6.5 million grant under Tranche 2 of the Australian Government’s Critical Minerals Development Program; and
  • Demonstrated an ongoing commitment to safety and quality in our operations, having been awarded ISO 45001 (OHS Management System) accreditation and recognised as an industry leader by the Daejeon Regional Office of the Ministry of Employment and Labor for the risk assessment practices implemented at the KMP.

Risk assessment recognition for KMP

The Risk Assessment Excellence Case Competition was organised by the Cheongju Regional Office of the Ministry of Employment and Labor

ASM’s Korean Metals Plant (KMP) has been recognised as one of the top five outstanding organisations in the Chungcheonbuk province for its risk assessment and safety management practices.

The ‘Risk Assessment Excellence Case Competition’ – organised by the Cheongju Regional Office of the Ministry of Employment and Labor – received entries from more than 200 companies and aims to promote the widespread adoption of best practice risk assessment across all industries.

Officially opened in May 2022, the KMP is ASM’s flagship metals production facility and is continuing its ramp up, aligned to customer demand. The facility is currently producing neodymium praseodymium (NdPr) metal and neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) alloy for established customers in Korea and the US.

ASM’s Rowena Smith, commented:

This award is deserved recognition of the hard work and commitment of the entire ASM team but particularly those in our Health, Safety & Environment function.

The safety, health and wellbeing of our people will remain our highest priorities as we continue to ramp up production at the KMP.”