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    Australian Strategic Materials begins rare earths production at Korean Metals Plant

    Australian Strategic Materials (ASX:ASM) has begun hot commissioning work at its Korean Metals Plant in Ochang Province, South Korea, following a site visit by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki.

    As part of the first phase of commissioning activities, which is expected to continue through until mid 2022, work has commenced on firing up the plant’s neodymium furnaces, processing feed material and casting the plant’s first ingots of neodymium metal.

    The company reports that further construction and installation work is in progress to bring additional plant modules online during the second half of 2022, resulting in 5,200 tpa of total plant capacity.

    The team in South Korea has worked tirelessly to put us in a position to start commissioning activities at the Korean Metals Plant”

    Addressing the news, Australian Strategic Materials Managing Director David Woodall said: “The team in South Korea has worked tirelessly to put us in a position to start commissioning activities at the Korean Metals Plant, despite the logistical and supply constraints as a result of covid. Although, we have more work to do to complete the installation of the facility and commission the full plant, this is a great early sign that our plant is working as expected for this stage.”

    “Australian Strategic Materials is moving closer to producing commercial quantities of titanium and permanent magnet alloy, as part of our strategy to provide an alternative, secure supply chain for critical metals.”

    “We were also extremely honoured to have Deputy Prime Minister Mr Hong Nam-ki visit us at this significant stage for the business.”

    ASM’s proprietary metallisation process, invented by scientists at the Chungnam National University, converts oxides into high-purity metals, alloys, and powders using up to 70% less energy than conventional methods.

    A 2019 joint venture between ASM and South Korea’s Zirconium Technology Corporation resulted in a successful pilot plant trial and commercial feasibility which has spearheaded construction of the new commercial metallisation plant.

    The plant will use feedstock from ASM’s Dubbo Project, with output including critical metals such as rare earth metals and alloys, along with zirconium, and titanium.

    Images: Australian Strategic Materials Limited
    Jonathan Norris
    Jonathan is a founder of Mining.com.au and has been covering the resources industry since 2018. With over 17 years experience in print, broadcast and online media, Jonathan has seen first hand the transformative effect of online niche media.

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    • Delayed Prices (USD) - Last Updated 06-12-2021
    • Gold $1,782.60
    • Silver $22.51
    • Platinum $930.00
    • Palladium $1,750.00
    • Dalian Iron Ore i2205 $98.48
    • Aluminium $2,623.00
    • Cobalt $67,050.00
    • Copper $9,418.00
    • Lead $2,210.50
    • Nickel $20,030.00
    • Tin $39,335.00
    • Zinc $3,161.50