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Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK) - Managing Director, Nic Earner - The Market Herald
Managing Director, Nic Earner
Source: Alkane Resources
  • Alkane Resources' (ALK) subsidiary, Australian Strategic Materials (ASM), and its joint venture partner, ZironTech, have produced a high-quality neodymium metal alloy
  • The joint venture partners are developing a low-emission, high-purity metal refining technology to produce zirconium, titanium and rare earths for permanent magnet alloys
  • This latest milestone comes after the partners successfully produced a 30-kilogram titanium alloy sample from their pilot plant in South Korea
  • The plant's electro-refining section will soon be commissioned to produce 99.9 per cent neodymium by the end of the month
  • Company shares have dropped a slight 0.84 per cent and are trading for $1.18 each

Alkane Resources' (ALK) subsidiary, Australian Strategic Materials (ASM), and its joint venture partner, ZironTech, have produced a high-quality neodymium metal alloy.

The joint venture partners produced approximately one kilogram of an 87 per cent neodymium metal alloy in the South Korean laboratory.

"This is a major milestone in ASM’s integrated strategy that includes clean metal production for all products from the development of the Dubbo Project in Central West NSW," ASM Managing Director David Woodall said.

In early June, ASM and ZironTech received US$4.5 million (roughly A$6.4 million) in grants from the Korean Government.

The grants were awarded as part of the Korean Government's US$5 billion (roughly A$7.1 billion) Industrial Technological Program. This program is led by the Korean Ministry of Industry, Trade and Resources as it seeks to establish clean metal supply independence and advance material technology for future market demand.

Together, the joint venture partners are developing a low-emission, high-purity metal refining technology that can be applied to metals such as zirconium, titanium and rare earths for permanent magnet alloys.

Earlier this month, the companies successfully produced a 30-kilogram titanium alloy sample from their commercial South Korean pilot plant.

Positively, this process uses 45 per cent less energy than current standard industrial processes.

The pilot plant's electro-refining section will undergo the commissioning phase this month, with particular focus on zirconium production.

The electro-refining section is expected to produce neodymium at 99.9 per cent purity by the end of the month.

Further pilot plant runs are planned to produce larger quantities of neodymium, praseodymium, and other rare earths in metallic form.

Company shares have dropped a slight 0.84 per cent and are trading for $1.18 each at 11:44 am AEST.


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