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Posco to secure key raw materials in Australia

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Posco Group chairman Choi Jeong-woo, left, poses with Gina Rinehart, executive chairwoman of Hancock Prospecting, after signing a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in developing important metals at Hancock Prospecting headquarters in Western Australia, June 20. Courtesy of Posco Group
Posco Group chairman Choi Jeong-woo, left, poses with Gina Rinehart, executive chairwoman of Hancock Prospecting, after signing a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in developing important metals at Hancock Prospecting headquarters in Western Australia, June 20. Courtesy of Posco Group

By Kim Jae-heun

Posco Group chairman Choi Jeong-woo visited Australia to assess strategic investment assets for the company's future business and discussed ways to cooperate with local raw material suppliers.

Choi arrived in Western Australia on June 20 and met with Gina Rinehart, executive chairwoman of Hancock Prospecting, to sign a memorandum of understanding for strategic cooperation in developing important metals such as lithium, nickel, copper, iron ore and hot briquetted iron (HBI). HBI is a compacted formed of direct reduced iron that is manufactured with well-defined, consistent chemical and physical characteristics.

They also agreed to seek opportunities for future collaboration in businesses such as mining and processing of secondary battery materials.

"Posco Group and Hancock Prospecting have been cooperating since 2010 and expanding our partnership every year. We successfully developed the Roy Hill mine development project recently and acquired Senex Energy together," Choi said. "Our two companies can create bigger synergy if they work together in the business for secondary battery materials, as Posco has the value chain to develop secondary battery materials for production of cathodes and anodes, while Hancock has excellent experience and capability in mining."

The next day, Choi met with Philip Pascall, chairman of Canadian mining and metals company First Quantum Minerals. First Quantum operates the Ravensthorpe Nickel Operation, a mine development and smelting company, and last year it divested a 30 percent stake to Posco.

In addition, the Posco chairman also met with the head of Pilbara Minerals to discuss a possible supply expansion of lithium concentrate.

Posco Group has been investing more than 4 trillion won ($3.09 billion) in Australia to develop raw materials such as iron ore, lithium and nickel. The company evaluates Australia as being an optimal location for development of clean hydrogen based on the country's vast territory, abundant solar and wind resources and advanced legal system.


Kim Jae-heun jhkim@koreatimes.co.kr


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