Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has produced nine kilograms of the key permanent magnet alloy Neodymium Praeseodymium (NdPr) at its commercial pilot plant in South Korea. ASM is now progressing an agreement with the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) to produce a sample 600kg of permanent magnets for Korean industry.
ASM’s production of titanium and key permanent magnet metals, using its patented high purity metallisation process, has resulted in ‘continued interest’ from leading Korean companies and government organisations. This has led to ASM acquiring its joint venture partner, Zirconium Technology Corporation (Ziron Tech), to continue the development of their clean metallisation process and production of sample permanent magnets.
ASM Managing Director, David 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.
Mr Woodall said Korea imports rare earths magnets and has a strong desire to ensure security of supply of critical materials to the country’s domestic manufacturing sector. Working with KITECH to produce samples of permanent magnets is an important step towards commercialisation.
“This sample production run is set to provide a framework for increased domestic production to help support their local industry,” he said. “To progress this, ASM will produce the 200kg of NdPr required for the production of the 600kg sample permanent magnets.”
Director Dr. Lim, Kyung Mook of the Korea Institute for Rare Metals (KIRAM), a KITECH division also commented: “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.”