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South Korean consortium to invest $250M in Dubbo rare earths project in Australia

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(Kitco News) - Australia’s ASM (ASX:ASM) announced today that it 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.

According to the company’s statement, under the agreement a consortium fund will invest US$250 million for the 20% equity interest. The company said that the agreement creates a pathway for ASM to develop the Dubbo project and execute its 'mine to metal' strategy.

ASM added that 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.

The volumes outlined in the proposed offtake agreement anticipate 100% of the neodymium oxide planned to be produced at the Dubbo project being the primary source of feed to the KMP post the completion of construction.

The Dubbo rare earths, zirconium, niobium and hafnium project located 25 kilometres south of Dubbo in central-western New South Wales, Australia. The project’s reserves support an initial project life of 20 years, and potential for a significantly longer mine life. The Dubbo project is ready for construction with all major state and federal approvals and licences are in place.

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