US debt funding backs Dubbo rare earths project


Rare earth miner and metals producer Australian Strategic Materials has received backing for its Dubbo, NSW rare earths project from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (USEXIM).

The bank has signed a non-binding and conditional Letter of Interest (LoI) to provide a debt funding package of up to US$600 million ($923 million) for the construction of the rare earths mine which will feed the company’s metals refinery in Korea.

US EXIM’s support is linked to the potential US content such as equipment, goods and services to be supplied in the construction phase of the Dubbo Project and the key strategic role it can play in the critical minerals supply chain.

The LoI represents a material step in ASM’s project funding strategy, according to the company, and follows cooperation through the Australia-US Taskforce on Critical Minerals which aims to develop secure, sustainable critical mineral supply chains.

Enhanced cooperation between Australia and the US had given access to new funding opportunities for projects capable of demonstrating strong alignment to the bilateral objectives of the two countries.

ASM Managing Director and CEO Rowena Smith said: “The Dubbo Project is a globally significant rare earths and critical minerals asset, well positioned to support the joint objective of Australia and the US to develop and expand reliable, responsible and secure global access to critical minerals.

“We are delighted to receive this letter of interest from US EXIM following extensive collaboration with multiple government and industry stakeholders in the US and look forward to building on the relationships we have established in this jurisdiction.”

US EXIM’s letter of interest for the construction phase of the Dubbo Project follows Export Finance Australia’s (EFA) previous conditional finance support of $200 million debt funding for the Dubbo Project.

Picture: Australian Strategic Materials

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