Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has signed a conditional framework agreement with a consortium of South Korean investors for the acquisition of a 20% equity interest in ASM’s Dubbo rare earths project holding company.
Under the Agreement, the consortium comprising three South Korean private equity firms (Cerritos Holdings, Kamur Partners and ACE Equity Partners) will invest $340 million for the 20% equity interest in the project.
The agreement also includes provision for a ten-year offtake agreement for up to 2,800tpa of NdFeB (neodymium-iron-boron) alloy from ASM’s Korean Metals Plant (KMP), which is currently under construction in Ochang, South Korea.
ASM Chair, Ian Gandel, said the agreement represents an ‘important contribution of financial support for the Dubbo Project’.
“I am truly delighted that the vision shown by the whole ASM team to become a leading global supplier of critical metals is bearing fruit,” Mr Gandel continued.
“We look forward to finalising arrangements with the Investing Partnership and funding entities as soon as possible and delivering on ASM’s ‘mine to metal’ strategy.”
ASM Managing Director, David Woodall, added: “In opening a financing pathway for the Dubbo Project, this agreement heralds an exciting new phase in ASM’s growth and puts us one step closer to executing our ‘mine to metal’ strategy.
“We are delighted our new South Korean partners have recognised the mutual value of the strategic investment opportunity represented by our integrated manufacturing capability that offers a new, cleaner source of critical metals and alloys to a rapidly expanding market.
“Cementing our ties with South Korea’s advanced manufacturing sector represents an incredible opportunity to create value from our Dubbo Project.”
Located 25 kilometres south of Dubbo in Central Western NSW, the Dubbo Project represents a large in-ground polymetallic resource of rare earths, zirconium, niobium, hafnium, tantalum and yttrium.
ASM intends to develop the Dubbo Project to supply globally significant quantities of zirconium and rare earth materials, which are in high demand for a range of existing and future technologies – in particular clean energy and transportation.