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Jervois-eCobalt merger to create new leader

Australian cobalt player Jervois Mining (ASX:JRV) looks set to become the world’s third-largest cobalt company after revealing an all-scrip acquisition of Canadian company eCobalt Solutions (TSX:ECS).
Jervois-eCobalt merger to create new leader Jervois-eCobalt merger to create new leader Jervois-eCobalt merger to create new leader Jervois-eCobalt merger to create new leader Jervois-eCobalt merger to create new leader

eCobalt Solutions and its Idaho Cobalt Project are being acquired by Australian cobalt and nickel play Jervois Mining

Under terms of the deal, Jervois is offering eCobalt owners 1.65 common shares for every eCobalt share held, implying an offer price of C36c per eCobalt share and a 5.9% premium over eCobalt's Friday Toronto closing price of 34c.

The acquisition, the second for Jervois so far this year, will create a new entity with a combined market capitalisation of about $100 million, which places New Jervois behind only Cobalt 27 (TSXV:KBLT) and Clean Teq Holdings (ASX:CLQ) in terms of market capitalisation.

eCobalt's flagship asset is the 100%-owned Idaho Cobalt Project near Salmon, in the US. The focus of $135 million of investment to date, ICP has completed environmental permitting and has the largest NI 43-101 compliant cobalt resource in North America, with 45.7Mlb cobalt grading 0.59% of measured and indicated resources.

The company is working on an updated feasibility study to consider an increased throughput rate of 1,200t/d from 800t/d in the previous feasibility study.

Jervois' main asset is the Nico Young cobalt-nickel deposit, in New South Wales. Jervois said it was close to finalising an economic study based on a JORC-compliant inferred resource of 167.8Mt grading 0.59% nickel and 0.06% cobalt.

Jervois has also applied for a prospecting licence over the Kabanga nickel project in Tanzania and is mulling an entry into Uganda through the M2 Cobalt merger to complement its East African regional ambitions. Jervois is also in discussions with Uganda regarding a potential restart of the old Falconbridge mine, Kilembe and the Kasese cobalt refinery.

Jervois expects to retain management over all assets under the experienced leadership of former Xstrata executive Bryce Crocker and former Glencore global nickel boss, chairman Peter Johnston. The company is in discussions with investment and off-take partners for development of Nico Young.

New Jervois will retain its primary listing on the ASX and will seek a secondary listing on the TSX Venture exchange to provide access to both the Australian and North American capital markets.

The M2 Cobalt deal announced in January is expected to close ahead of the eCobalt merger.

The pro forma New Jervois cash and cash-equivalent balance is expected to be about A$16.5 million, which the company said gave it a strong platform to move its projects forward.