KMP hosts Dubbo Regional Council delegation

We’re strengthening ties between Dubbo and Ochang to create an alternative end-to-end critical minerals supply chain.

ASM’s Korean Metals Plant (KMP) in Ochang, South Korea has hosted a delegation from the Dubbo Regional Council. As part of a self-funded trip to Korea and Japan, the delegation took the opportunity to see how ASM’s world class facility is manufacturing the high-tech metals and alloys needed for the global energy transition.

Our metals and alloys are the critical ingredient for the permanent magnets used in advanced clean technologies such as electric vehicles and wind turbines. Ultimately, the KMP will use the rare earth oxide feedstock processed at our Dubbo Project.

ASM’s Dubbo Project is located 25km south of Dubbo in central-western NSW. A globally significant resource of rare earths and critical minerals, once operational the Dubbo Project will mine, separate and refine a wide range of oxides, before metallising at our own plant(s) or shipping to global customers.

It’s our mine to metals strategy…

Sincere thanks to Dubbo Mayor Mathew Dickerson and the Dubbo Regional Council team for taking the time to learn more about our operations in South Korea.

We’re looking forward to building the ties between the two locations, in support of our alternative critical minerals supply chain.

Growing North American support builds momentum for Dubbo project funding process

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has received a non-binding and conditional Letter of Interest (LoI) from Canada’s official export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC), indicating support for EDC to provide a direct lending debt funding package of up to A$400 million for the construction and execution phase of its rare earths and critical minerals Dubbo Project.

Key points:

  • EDC LoI is additional to A$200M Letter of Support received from EFA and the recently announced LoI from US EXIM for US$600M (A$923M).
  • Recent interest stems from the strong policy alignment between Australia and North American jurisdictions.
  • EDC’s LoI is supported by potential equipment and services supply from Canadian companies for the execution phase of the Dubbo Project.
  • EDC’s indicative financial support increases sourcing flexibility and demonstrates the growing confidence in a shared financing for the Dubbo Project.

We are thrilled with the support received to date from prospective financiers for the Dubbo Project, especially this latest letter of interest from Export Development Canada. Our focus has been on building strategic partnerships in North America that support the development of our mine to metals strategy.

Rowena Smith, ASM Managing Director & CEO

Strategic partnership delivers benefits for Dubbo Project

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) is pleased to advise that its subsidiary Australian Strategic Materials (Holdings) Pty Ltd (ASMH) has appointed global engineering company Bechtel Mining and Metals, Inc (Bechtel) to conduct Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) services for ASM’s rare earths and critical minerals Dubbo Project in New South Wales (NSW).

Highlights

ASM receives US$600M (A$923M) Letter of Interest from US EXIM bank

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) is pleased to announce it has received a non-binding Letter of Interest (LoI) from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (US EXIM) to provide a debt funding package of up to US$600 million (A$923 million) for the construction and execution phase of the rare earths and critical minerals Dubbo Project.

Highlights

  • LoI from US EXIM bank for up to US$600M (A$923M) in debt financing package for Dubbo Project
  • US EXIM is the official export credit agency of the US federal government
  • US government support is a catalyst to increase customer and financing focus in North America
  • LoI from US EXIM is in addition to A$200M Letter of Support previously received from EFA
  • Dubbo Project is a construction ready, globally significant and long-life rare earths and critical minerals project

Dubbo Project featured in Australian Critical Minerals Prospectus

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) is proud to be featured in the latest Australian Critical Minerals Prospectus, produced by the Australian Trade and Investment Agency (Austrade).

The Prospectus showcases investment-ready critical minerals projects that have significant potential to address anticipated production shortfalls, build supply chain security, and deliver progress on a net zero future.

ASM’s cornerstone Dubbo Project, located in Central West New South Wales, is a globally significant rare earths and critical minerals deposit that includes neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, terbium, zirconium, niobium and hafnium. The project has all major approvals in place and is construction ready.

On the launch of the prospectus, Minister for Resources, the Hon Madeleine King MP, said: “Australia’s critical minerals are key to the world’s energy transformation.

“But we need to attract investment to get these minerals out of the ground, to process them here, to build the batteries, wind turbines and solar panels required make the switch to a lower carbon economy.

“This prospectus will help attract the investment we need to build new industries, create jobs and reduce global emissions.”

 

IMARC 2023

The ASM team enjoyed a packed agenda at the 2023 International Mining and Resources Conference +Expo (IMARC), participating in several insightful panel discussions, engaging with a range of national and international government stakeholders and presenting the ASM mine to metals opportunity to a broad investor audience.

Participating in two panel sessions, ASM Managing Director and CEO Rowena Smith provided her thoughts on the practical steps needed to facilitate an alternative global supply of critical minerals, and the significance of partnerships at all points of Australia’s critical minerals value chain when looking to achieve this.

Following up on Rowena’s comments, Bloomberg TV conducted a live interview at the event, where she had the opportunity to further discuss ASM and Australia’s role in the creation of an alternative critical minerals supply chain.   

With a large international audience, on the sidelines of the event ASM also participated in ‘Korea Day in Sydney’ – facilitated by Austrade and KOMIR Australia – where ASM’s General Counsel and Company Secretary Annaliese Eames presented the ASM story.

At the Mines and Money Investment Theatre, Rowena had the opportunity to walk investors through the Company’s mine to metals strategy, highlighting the progress made at both our Dubbo Project and Korean Metals Plant over the past year.

WATCH: MD & CEO Rowena Smith presents at Mines & Money.

And the Dubbo Project was also a hot topic of conversation when the team had the opportunity to speak directly to federal Minister for Resources the Hon Madeleine King MP and New South Wales Minister for National Resources, the Hon Courtney Houssos MP.

With a unique ore body comprising light and heavy rare earths, zirconium, hafnium and niobium, strong financials, and compelling ESG credentials, the Dubbo Project represents a robust investment in the national interest and a strategic opportunity for Australia.

ASM 2023 Annual Report

ASM is pleased to present its 2023 Annual Report, highlighting the strategic and operational progress the Company made during the past financial year and the path it is on to successfully deliver its mine to metals strategy.

 

“ASM’s mine to metals strategy represents a unique opportunity in Australia’s national interest. Our end-to-end, alternative supply chain goes from mining our globally significant rare earths and critical minerals resource in Dubbo, Central West New South Wales, refining the materials on site, processing the oxides at our Korean Metals Plant and selling the high-tech metals and alloys to a global customer base.

Now, more than ever before, this vertically integrated approach addresses many of the challenges we see identified in not just Australia’s strategic outlook, but from jurisdictions around the globe, from Japan and Korea to the US and the European Union.”

Ian Gandel, ASM Chairman

FY23 Financial Report

Today we released our Financial Report for the year ended 30 June 2023 (FY23).

FY23 represents a milestone year for ASM’s mine to metals business, having commenced production from our first metallisation plant.

Korean Metals Plant ramping up
The Korean Metals Plant (KMP) is ASM’s foundational downstream metallisation plant, opened in May 2022. During FY23, the plant commenced first sales of NdPr (neodymium praseodymium) metal to Korean customer NS World, secured its first NdFeB (neodymium iron boron) alloy sales contract to US customer Noveon Magnetics Inc, and commissioned its NdFeB alloy strip caster. After 30 June 2023, ASM announced a new long-term binding sales agreement with USA Rare Earth for the supply of NdFeB alloy.

Delivery of these strategic objectives demonstrates the technical capability at the KMP and the growing reputation ASM is building within the global high-tech metals market.

In FY24 the Company is focused on expanding its customer base, continuing technical validation of the NdFeB strip alloy to customer requirements, first delivery of NdFeB alloy, and ramp-up of NdFeB alloy towards name plate production of 600 tonnes per annum (tpa), aligned to sales. As further sales are concluded and delivery schedules determined, ASM will consider when Phase 2 expansion to 3,600 tpa will occur to align with customer demand.

Dubbo delivers important milestones
Upstream in ASM’s mine to metals business model is the Dubbo Project, a rare earths and critical minerals deposit in Central West New South Wales. ASM intends to develop the Dubbo Project to produce oxides and mixed chlorides of rare earths, zirconium, niobium and hafnium, which can either be metallised at the KMP, or distributed to other global manufacturing customers.

Evaluation activities at Dubbo continued to progress well during FY23, focusing on technical flowsheet enhancements, engineering design, approvals and early establishment activities. Notably, Stage 1 Engineering, Procurement and Construction Definition work commenced with Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd in January 2023 and was completed in July. In addition, ASM received NSW government approval for the Dubbo Project SSD Modification Report 1, which determined several improvements to the existing approved plan.

These important milestones continue to support ASM’s opportunity as the Company moves toward final investment decision (FID), targeted by December 2024.

ASM continued to progress opportunities with potential offtake partners and strategic investors in a broad range of industries and jurisdictions, in support of the Dubbo Project during the year. Active discussions are currently underway in relation to all products across ASM’s diverse portfolio, and the Company will update the market when binding agreements are concluded.

Dubbo Project Community Newsletter

ASM Chief Operating Officer Chris Jordaan with engineers from Bechtel Australia inspecting the Shibble Bridge in Dubbo.

There has been plenty happening at our Dubbo Project and within the Dubbo community over recent months.

Our latest Community Newsletter provides a wrap-up of the project progress we’ve made and highlights where the ASM team has continued to build positive partnerships with local stakeholders.

From a project perspective, the non-process infrastructure (NPI) study work with Bechtel Australia is well underway. The study work will advance the engineering maturity of the NPI design in key areas outside of the process plant, including:

  • Residue storage and handling facilities,
  • Site water management,
  • Utility design and supply, and
  • Site establishment planning.

Significantly, this work will contribute to developing capital and operating costs estimates key to ASM making its final investment decision on the Dubbo Project by the end of 2024.

Out in the community, we’ve continued to work with Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana, schools associated with the Dubbo College ASPIRE program and, most recently, the colourful Cross Cultural Carnivale!

Click the button below to read the full newsletter.

The Dubbo Cross Cultural Carnivale in September celebrated the town’s growing and vibrant multicultural community.

 

 

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