Australian Strategic Materials to Source Rare Earths From Vietnam

by | 2. May 2023 - 12:55 | Economy

Agreement signed with Vietnam Rare Earth Company. Further processing is to take place in South Korea.

The mining company Australian Strategic Metals (ASM) intends to purchase rare earth oxides from Vietnam. A binding offtake agreement has been signed with Vietnam Rare Earth Company (VTRE) for 100 tons of rare earth oxides this year. Further processing of the raw materials is to take place at ASM’s processing plant located in South Korea.

With this additional security in raw material supply, production at the plant can be ramped up further, said Rowena Smith, CEO and managing director of the Australian mining company. ASM also operates its own rare earth mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Vietnam has the largest reserves of rare earths after China, the world’s leading producer of the commodity, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (PDF). Countries such as Germany and South Korea are interested in Vietnam’s largely untapped deposits as they seek to diversify their supply of the critical commodity. However, China is also expanding its influence there: The Vietnam Rare Earth Company is 90 percent owned (PDF) by the Chinese state-owned Shenghe Resources group.

Photo: iStock/mariusz_prusaczyk

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