Rare earths producer Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has produced its first metals at its subsidiary metals manufacturing plant in Korea.
Writing in the company annual report, chairman Ian Gandel said Phase 1 commissioning was now complete of new buildings and production equipment installed in the past year.
Gandel said: “Installation and commissioning of Phase 1 equipment to produce neodymium, praseodymium and titanium fell behind schedule due to the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 and supply chain disruptions.
“However our team overcame these challenges with the installation of the neodymium, praseodymium and titanium furnaces completed before the year end, with commissioning well underway.”
ASM completed the refurbishment of an existing main factory and the construction of five additional buildings at the Korean Metals Plant (pictured) in under 10 months.
“The first sale and delivery of neodymium praseodymium metal from the plant occurred in September 2022.
“Securing the first sale was a key milestone for ASM and, as we ramp up further, we look forward to
announcing further agreements.”
ASM is developing its Dubbo, NSW rare earths project, with the company’s business model locating metals processing close to its customers in locations where demand is high.
Rare earths are essential to high technology products such as electric motors, touch screens, LED displays and computer memories.
Gandel said that this year the company’s technology team focused on commercial scale process development of ASM’s metallisation technology to produce copper titanium alloy products.
“I am excited about the remarkable opportunity scaling this technology presents for ASM to innovatively
produce titanium products.
“Further work is planned to continue through FY23 on this exciting technology.”
Image: ASM/Korean Metals plant