Australian Strategic Materials produces key heavy rare earth metal dysprosium at Korean facility
Monday, 14 September 2020 Australian Strategic Materials Ltd (ASX:ASM) has produced another key permanent magnet metal, dysprosium, via its partner Ziron Technology Corporation at a laboratory at the Ziron Tech facility in Korea. The company produced 0.76 kilograms of high purity dysprosium which assayed at 99.6% using less energy than conventional processes. As well as proving the ASM metallisation process, this confirms the company’s ability to produce the key permanent magnet metals of dysprosium, praseodymium and neodymium and alloys that will be sourced from rare earths at its Dubbo Project in Central West NSW. “Significant result” ASM managing director David Woodall said: “This is a significant result given the temperatures required for the production of dysprosium metal. “Our team has now successfully produced the key permanent magnet rare earth products (dysprosium, praseodymium and neodymium metals and alloys) which will be supplied from our Dubbo Project.” Innovative process The ASM metallisation process uses significantly less energy and has less impact on the environment than existing industry-standard metallisation processes. This innovative process has been used to produce metals of the planned products from ASM’s Dubbo Project including zirconium, hafnium and rare earths for permanent magnet alloys in the laboratory. Titanium and the key rare earth permanent magnet metals neodymium and praseodymium have been produced in the commercial pilot plant with dysprosium and zirconium scheduled for later this month. Next steps Woodall said: “Now that the protocol for the production of dysprosium metal has been completed, our team led by Professor Lee, will focus on production of the ferro-dysprosium alloy, which is key in the production of high-temperature NdFeB magnets. “Our focus now is to produce zirconium metal by the end of September," Woodall added. ASM and Ziron Tech continue to finalise the detailed documentation in relation to the acquisition of Ziron Tech with the transaction expected to be completed by the end of October 2020.