Rowena Smith sits down with Jack Lifton on ASM’s ‘Mines to Metal’ Advantage in Supplying Rare Earths


During an interview at PDAC 2024 in Toronto, Jack Lifton of InvestorNews sat down with Rowena Smith, the Managing Director of Australian Strategic Materials Ltd. (ASX: ASM), to delve into the company’s position and strategic initiatives within the rare earths and permanent magnet supply chain. Smith elucidated ASM’s comprehensive strategy, spanning from “mine to metal,” highlighting their advanced development project in Dubbo, New South Wales, and their operational metals plant in South Korea. The company has successfully commenced production of neodymium praseodymium (NdPr) metal and neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) strip alloy, which are essential components for sintered magnets used across various technological applications. Smith proudly noted ASM’s pioneering role as the first Australian entity and one of the few globally to achieve such depth in the supply chain outside of China, emphasizing the critical nature of their work in diversifying the global supply chain and reducing dependence on single-source suppliers.

Smith also detailed the Dubbo Project’s progress, underlining its pivotal role in ASM’s mine-to-metals business model for supplying rare earths and critical minerals. Funding and securing off-take agreements are current priorities, with the project’s engineering, exploration, and permitting stages already completed. Smith’s participation in a U.S. trade delegation and discussions with U.S. government departments reflect a strong international interest in funding the project. These interactions highlight the alignment between Australian and U.S. interests in establishing a sustainable and transparent critical minerals supply chain. ASM’s engagement with various U.S. government agencies and the passage of legislation recognizing Australia as a ‘domestic source’ for U.S. Department of Defense procurement showcases the international efforts to bolster critical mineral supply chains outside of China. The company’s ongoing discussions for offtake agreements and advancements in metallization capability at the Korean Metals Plant further underscore ASM’s commitment to securing a robust position within the global supply chain of rare earth metals and alloys.

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About Australian Strategic Materials Ltd.

Australian Strategic Materials (ASX: ASM) is a vertically integrated ‘mine to metals’ producer of critical metals for new growth industries, high technologies and sustainable energy solutions. ASM operates a metals plant in in Ochang, South Korea which is currently producing critical metals and alloys to customer specifications. The initial production focus is on neodymium praseodymium (NdPr) and neodymium iron boron (NdFeB). Currently, ASM sources the rare earth oxides for the production of the critical metals at its Korean Metals Plant (KMP) from a third party located in Vietnam. The company’s Dubbo Project, is a long-term resource of rare earth elements, zirconium, niobium and hafnium, located in New South Wales, Australia. ASM intends to develop the Dubbo Project to produce metal oxides which will be used for refining into critical metals at ASM’s KMP and subsequent plants that may be established in other jurisdictions.

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This interview, which was produced by InvestorNews Inc. (“InvestorNews”), does not contain, nor does it purport to contain, a summary of all material information concerning the Company, including important disclosure and risk factors associated with the Company, its business and an investment in its securities. InvestorNews offers no representations or warranties that any of the information contained in this interview is accurate or complete.

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