Australian Strategic Materials Ltd’s (ASM) Korean Metals Plant is designed to convert oxides of rare earths and critical metals into high purity metals needed for strategically important industries.
The United States, Australian and South Korean governments have identified the need to diversify their sources of critical minerals supply, as the materials produced from them are used in strategically important areas such as defence, aerospace and clean energy technologies.
The Korean Metals Plant (KMP) will produce critical metals and alloys to customer specifications, using ASM’s patented, energy efficient metallisation process.
The initial focus will be on neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) and titanium alloy. Neodymium iron boron is a key component of permanent magnets used in electric vehicles and wind turbines, while titanium alloys have uses across multiple high-tech industries.
In opening the Korean Metals Plant, ASM Managing Director Mr David Woodall said the Korean Metals Plant would play an integral role in providing an alternative and secure source of critical metals for Australia and its strategic partners. It would also provide economic opportunities for both Australia and Korea.
“We also know that global demand for the critical metals crucial to industries shaping our planet’s future is predicted to outstrip supply. Our Korean Metals Plant represents a new source for these critical metals. Products from the plant will help to de-risk and relieve bottlenecks in the global supply chain.”
Mr Woodall also thanked the ASM staff and team in Korea for their fantastic achievement in completing construction of the plant within nine months of last year’s ground-breaking ceremony.
“The team in Korea, along with our construction partners have done a fantastic job in designing and delivering this facility. This is an outstanding achievement by all, especially given the difficulties we have faced with delays and disruptions due to covid,” he said.
The Korean Metals Plant is Australian Strategic Materials’ flagship metals plant. It is operated by the company’s wholly owned subsidiary Korean Strategic Materials and Metals (KSMM). The plant is an integral part of ASM’s vertically integrated mine to metals business model. Future metals plants based on its success are planned in other strategic geographic locations. They will be supported by raw materials mined and processed at ASM’s Dubbo Project.
Australian Strategic Materials Ltd (ASM) is a vertically integrated materials business and emerging “mine to metals” producer of critical metals. The company’s cornerstone Dubbo Project (100% owned) is a potential long-term resource of rare earths, zirconium, niobium, and hafnium located in central-western NSW, Australia. It represents an alternative, sustainable and secure source of these metals, critical for a diverse range of advanced and clean technologies.
ASM’s metals business is founded on an innovative metallisation process that converts oxides into high-purity metals, alloys, and powders using less energy than conventional methods. A pilot plant in South Korea demonstrated the commercial scalability of the process and successfully produced a range of high-purity metals and alloys, including titanium, neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, and zirconium. Following this success, ASM’s first metallisation plant has been opened in South Korea to initially supply a range of critical metals, including rare earth metals and alloys, zirconium, and titanium.