Here’s why the Australian Strategic Materials share price is surging 31% today

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The Australian Strategic Materials Ltd (ASX: ASM) share price is off to the races today.

Shares in the ASX rare earths and critical metals miner closed on Thursday at $ 5.26 per share. The company entered a trading halt on Friday at its own request pending today’s equity funding announcement.

In the morning trade, the Australian Strategic Materials share price stands at $ 6.87, up 30.7%.

What’s piquing ASX investor interest today?

Investors are bidding up Australian Strategic Materials shares following a US $ 15 million (AU $ 10.4 million) funding announcement.

According to the release, Korean company KCF Energy will invest US $ 15 million of equity funding via a share purchase at an issue price of AU $ 8.90 per share.

Notably, that’s 69% higher than what the Australian Strategic Materials share price closed for on its last day of trading

The parties are also revising their July 2021 Framework Agreement, reporting that negotiations are ongoing for a five-year offtake agreement for 2,800 dry metric tons of NdFeB alloy from the Korean Metals Plant.

One of the core negotiations in the Revised Framework Agreement is for KCM to facilitate the acquisition of 10% of Australian Strategic Materials (Holdings) shares for US $ 125 million by a “strategic investor”.

The parties are also negotiating another US $ 105 million equity investment by KCM, which would be subject to Australian Strategic Materials shareholder approval.

Commenting on new investment, Australian Strategic Materials managing director, David Woodall said:

We welcome this investment in ASM from our Korean partners as we continue discussions and agree on terms to progress our Dubbo Project and importantly ASM’s mine-to-metals strategy…

We are pleased to maintain our close relationship with Korea and our partners, who are highly supportive of ASM’s mine-to-metals strategy. These partners wish to secure their supplies of the metals needed to drive Korea’s manufacturing industry.

Separately, the critical metals miner released its investor presentation today.

Australian Strategic Materials share price snapshot

Today’s big boost in the Australian Strategic Materials share price comes after a difficult few months for the critical metals miner.

To give you some idea, shares are up 59% over the past 12 months but are down 40% in 2022.

By comparison, the All Ordinary Index (ASX: XAO) is up 2% over the 12 months and down 7% year-to-date.

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