The Australian Strategic Materials Ltd (ASX: ASM) share price is defying expectations on Friday, rallying 4.94% to $11.26 at the time of writing.
This follows a harsh sell-off across the resources sector with the S&P/ASX Materials (ASX: XMJ) down 4.17%.
Perhaps more specific to the ASM share price is the overnight performance of the VanEck Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (NYSEARCA: REMX).
The global exchange-traded fund invests in companies that derive at least 50% of total revenues from the rare earths or strategic metals industries. Its top 10 holdings include ASX 200 heavyweights Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE), Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) and Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC).
Unfortunately, the ETF tumbled 4.6% overnight, reflecting broader weakness across ASM’s peers and industry. The gaining ASM share price illustrates strong buying support and the stock’s ability to stand tall in a weak market.
What’s pushing the ASM share price?
The last quarter topped everything with major achievements for the emerging rare earths and oxide producer.
ASM’s managing director David Woodall said the company was at a “critical stage” of its evolution as projects matured and major milestones were achieved.
The last quarter and the period since then have been transformational for ASM, with key financial support from the Australian Government, the backing from investors for our equity raising, and the Framework Agreement with the South Korean Investing Partnership that sets us on a path to realizing our ‘mine to metal’ vision.
Woodall said ASM will be working with its Korean partners to complete the conditions of its Framework Agreement. This will ultimately provide the company with a $250 million injection to drive its Dubbo Project.
The initial Framework Agreement announcement on 21 July drove the ASM share price 12.16% higher to $8.30.
What’s happening in the renewables sector?
There’s been a lot of hype around the renewables sector. ASX-listed lithium and rare earths shares are rallying to multi-year or all-time highs.
The renewables boom is underpinned by surging spot prices.
This week, Pilbara Minerals reported an almost 100% jump in its lithium auction prices in less than two months.
Lynas’ FY21 full-year results highlighted a rising average selling price from $21.5/kg in FY20 to $29.8/kg in FY21.
ASM share price snapshot
The ASM share price is up 71% year to date and 413% on this time last year.