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Australian Strategic Materials produces high purity permanent magnet NdPr alloy

The production of 99.65% pure Neodymium Praeseodymium using patented technology has resulted in interest from leading South Korean companies and government institutes.

Australian Strategic Materials Ltd - Australian Strategic Materials produces high purity permanent magnet NdPr alloy
The high purity Neodymium Praeseodymium alloy produced by ASM partner Ziron Tech

Australian Strategic Materials Ltd (ASX:ASM) has produced nine kilograms of high purity key permanent magnet alloy Neodymium Praeseodymium (NdPr) at its commercial pilot plant in Korea.

The alloy was produced by ASM’s research and development partner Ziron Tech using patented high purity metallisation process and is 99.65% pure.

This has resulted in continued interest from several leading South Korean companies and government organisations.

ASM is now producing 200 kilograms of NdPr alloy as an initiative with the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), a South Korean government research institute, to produce a 600-kilogram sample of permanent magnets for Korean industry.

Framework for local production

ASM managing director David Woodall said: “This sample production run is set to provide a framework for increased domestic production to help support their local industry.

“Working with KITECH, a respected and leading innovation group in Korea to produce samples of permanent magnets is an important step in ASM’s commercialisation strategy.

“Korea imports rare earth magnets and has a strong desire to ensure the security of supply of these critical materials to their domestic manufacturing sector.”

Adding value to Dubbo Project

Together with Ziron Tech, ASM is advancing oxide separation and metallisation technologies to create a range of value-added materials from ASM’s Dubbo Project in Central West NSW.

ASM is also progressing pilot plant test-work on low emission, high purity metal technology to produce zirconium, titanium and rare earths for permanent magnet metals.

Woodall said: “Over the past few weeks whilst I have been in South Korea, we have had some important discussions with Korean companies and government around ASM’s metallisation technology and the Dubbo Project.”

The $1 billion Dubbo Project is ready for construction as all major state and federal approvals and licences are in place, along with an established process flow sheet and solid business case.

Future collaboration

Success in producing permanent magnet metals prompted ASM to acquire its joint venture partner, Ziron Tech to carry on the development of its clean metallisation process and production for the Korean industry.

Following the acquisition, Ziron Tech's team will continue the development of metallisation technology within the ASM umbrella.

Director of Korea Institute for Rare Metals (KIRAM), a KITECH division, Lim Kyung Mook, said: “We welcome ASM as a member of the Korean Rare Earth Institute and we are pleased to work with Ziron Tech under the joint research and development for rare earth alloy production.

“With our close collaboration with Ziron Tech, we are enthusiastic to proceed with rare earth magnet production testing using the metal availability from Ziron Tech.”

Quick facts: Australian Strategic Materials Ltd

Price: 5.26 AUD

Market: ASX
Market Cap: $626.2 m

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