Dubbo rare earths project hits milestone

The development of a new rare earths resource at Dubbo in New South Wales has taken a step forward with the completion of due diligence by a group of South Korean Investors.

The investors, Cerritos Holdings Co., Ltd, Kamur Partners LLC and ACE Equity Partners LLC, completed their appraisal of the Australian Strategic Materials Limited Dubbo Project, a key milestone in progressing their proposed investment under a framework agreement with the company.

After a delay due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, ASM recently hosted a due diligence visit by the investing partnership which included visiting the site of the project (pictured) and discussions of ASM’s research partnerships and business activities in Australia.

ASM’s Managing Director David Woodall said the completion of due diligence had taken place in parallel with continued progress on the remaining formal binding terms of the consortium’s investment.

“We are very pleased to have successfully concluded the due diligence process.

“Together we are now focused on securing a significant South Korean, strategic investor to partner with ASM…and to completing the terms for a formal binding agreement.”

ASM, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and ASM’s South Korea arm Ziron Tech have worked hard on the Dubbo deposit and ASM’s metallisation process.

The proprietary process converts oxides into high-purity metals, alloys and powders using up to 70 per cent less energy than conventional methods.

Australian Strategic Materials has already produced high value metals such the key permanent magnet alloy Neodymium Praseodymium (NdPr) (pictured) at its Korea plant.

ASM has turned to this Korea-Australia development model to allow it to get the Dubbo Project off the ground while securing end markets in Korea for rare earths, zirconium, niobium, hafnium, tantalum and yttrium critical for high technology products such as computer memories, displays and permanent magnets.

Woodall said: “Our relationship with our Korean partners continues to go from strength to strength.”

Spokesperson for the Investing Partnership Pumsoo Ra said theywere committed to working with ASM to finalise an investment in relation to the Company.

“It is clear that ASM has the resources and technical capacity to partner with us to support the supply chain of critical metals needed for the production of clean energy technologies such as electric vehicles and renewable energy generation capacity, as well as advanced electronics.”

Ra is CEO and Founder of Cerritos Holdings.

The metallisation process was invented by scientists at Chungnam National University (CNU) in Daejon, South Korea.

Picture: Australian Strategic Materials

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