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25/06/2024
Mining News

US Export-Import Bank shows interest in funding Australian Rare Earths venture

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has secured a conditional Letter of Interest (LOI) from the Export-Import Bank of the US (US EXIM) for a debt funding package of up to $600 million (A$908.34 million) for the Dubbo rare earths project in New South Wales, Australia.

The support from US EXIM is contingent upon the utilization of US materials during the construction phase and recognizes the strategic significance of the Dubbo Project to the critical minerals supply chain.

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However, the LOI is subject to US EXIM’s completion of due diligence and ASM obtaining all necessary approvals for the project.

This development marks a significant milestone in ASM’s funding strategy for the Dubbo Project and underscores the strong backing the company has received from government entities, investors, and industry groups, particularly in North America.

The partnership between Australia and the US, facilitated by the Australia-US Taskforce on Critical Minerals, has played a crucial role in fostering cooperation for the development of secure and sustainable critical mineral supply chains.

The leadership of Minister Madeleine King has been instrumental in advocating for Australian critical minerals projects in North America, paving the way for enhanced collaboration and funding opportunities aligned with the bilateral goals of both nations.

In addition to Export Finance Australia’s (EFA) prior conditional finance approval of A$200 million in debt funding for the Dubbo Project, US EXIM has now issued an LOI for the project’s construction phase.

While the LOI from US EXIM is non-binding and conditional, it signifies a positive step forward in strengthening customer and financing focus in North America.

Rowena Smith, Managing Director and CEO of ASM, expressed enthusiasm about the LOI from US EXIM, emphasizing the Dubbo Project’s global significance and its alignment with the shared objective of Australia and the US to enhance global access to critical minerals responsibly and securely.

“We are delighted to receive this letter of interest from US EXIM following extensive collaboration with multiple government and industry stakeholders in the US and look forward to building on the relationships we have established in this jurisdiction,” said Rowena Smith.

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