The Australian company has signed an agreement with the US company Noveon Magnetics. Processing of the alloy will take place in South Korea.
U.S. rare earth magnet manufacturer Noveon Magnetics plans to purchase neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) alloys, mainly needed for magnet manufacturing, through mining company Australian Strategic Metals (ASM). The rare earths will be processed into alloys at ASM’s processing plant located in South Korea and exported from there to the U.S., according to a press release (PDF).
By March 2024, ASM plans to deliver 100 metric tons of NdFeB alloy to Texas-based Noveon. The two companies also want to enter into a long-term partnership. The deal marks the first time ASM has sold rare earth alloys from its South Korean plant, according to the company. The raw materials processed there would be mined in Vietnam, Rowena Smith, CEO and managing director of the Australian mining company told Reuters. As we reported, ASM signed a contract to that effect with Vietnam Rare Earth Company just earlier this month. Vietnam is said to have the second largest rare earth reserves after China.
According to Nikkei Asia, the agreement now signed between ASM and Noveon goes hand in hand with the strategy of some countries, such as the U.S., Germany and Japan, to become less dependent on China for raw materials by diversifying supply chains. The mammoth share of rare earth magnets is produced in the People’s Republic.