By Hilary Mare
ASX-listed cobalt junior Celsius Resources has completed a bookbuild for the issue of approximately 48.6 million shares to raise US$9 million (N$112 million) which it will use to advance its Opuwo cobalt project in Namibia.
The placement was well supported by institutional and professional investors from North America, Hong Kong, Europe and Australia.
At this stage, advancement of the cobalt project includes completion of the project scoping study (already well advanced, due June 2018), completion of a pre-feasibility study, resource infill and extension drilling programme, exploration of additional targets identified across the broader project area, including newly acquired licences; and commencement of a bankable feasibility study (assuming positive scoping study/ pre-feasibility study outcomes).
Commenting on the placement, Managing Director (MD) Brendan Borg highlighted that this capital raising would allow the company to be fully funded for the continued rapid evaluation of the Opuwo cobalt project beyond the pre-feasibility stage.
“With our recently announced maiden JORC compliant mineral resource confirming the project as having what we consider to be world significance in terms of size and strategic value, we look forward to continuing to progress the studies on the project as quickly as possible.”
Celsius Resources does not require shareholder approval for the placement as funds will be raised pursuant to capacity available under Listing Rule 7.1A. Settlement of the placement was expected to occur on Thursday, 10 May 2018.
In addition to the placement, Celsius will offer existing shareholders the opportunity to participate in a share purchase plan (SPP) at the same price as the placement, to raise a maximum of US$3 million via the issue of approximately 16.2 million shares.
If total demand for the SPP exceeds US$3 million, the company reserves the right to close the offer early and/or to scale back applications as determined by it in its absolute and sole discretion.
The directors of the company intend to participate in the SPP at various levels, however should the SPP be fully subscribed, the directors will cede their rights to enable shareholder participation.
Participation in the SPP was opened to shareholders who are registered holders of Celsius shares at 5.00pm (WST) on the Record Date of 2 May 2018, and whose registered address is in Australia or New Zealand. The SPP will entitle eligible shareholders, irrespective of the size of their shareholding, to purchase up to $15 000 SPP shares at an issue price of 18.5 cents per SPP share. Celsius Resources aims to leverage off the coming boom in battery technology. Celsius is currently focused on cobalt projects and is looking to strategically add projects with the potential to contribute metals and materials into the construction and usage of batteries.
Currently around 40 percent of all cobalt produced is used to make rechargeable batteries. This number is expected to increase to 55 percent within two years. Cobalt is an essential element in lithium-ion batteries and is a vital material in the rapidly expanding rechargeable battery and Electric Vehicle markets. Demand for cobalt-containing batteries is expected to rise rapidly in coming years as sales of plug in hybrid and fully electric vehicles increases. EV sales rose to around 774,000 vehicles globally in 2016, with this number expected to hit 1.1 million sales by the end of 2017.
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