South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering has secured a key contract that involves providing engineering, procurement and construction definition (EPCD) work for the Dubbo Project in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

Located near Toongi in Central Western NSW, the Dubbo Project is a large in-ground polymetallic resource of rare earths wholly owned by Australian Strategic Materials (ASM).

The $33.3m (A$46.7m) contract was awarded to Hyundai Engineering by Australian Strategic Materials (Holdings) (ASMH), a subsidiary of ASM.

ASM managing director David Woodall said: “We are thrilled to have HEC, one of the world’s leading EPC firms, seeking to partner with us on the Dubbo Project.

“With this signing, ASM moves one step closer to developing our Dubbo Project and progressing our vision for a vertically integrated strategic materials business.”

The scope of works will include an Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering standardised estimate (AACE Class 2 capital cost estimate), an operating cost estimate, a detailed project schedule, project plans and initial engineering documentation.

Hyundai Engineering will start works after the receipt of necessary approvals and a notice to proceed (NTP).

The contract works are expected to complete in 14 months.

In case HEC does not receive NTP in three months, the contract price may be renegotiated. Either party can terminate the agreement if NTP is not issued within 12 months.

ASM aims to develop Dubbo Project to supply rare earth materials to the global market. The deposit contains rare earths, zirconium, niobium, hafnium, tantalum and yttrium.