Australian battery minerals explorer Jervois Mining (ASX: JRV) is set to become the world’s third largest cobalt miner after announcing it has finally sealed the deal on its merger with TSX-listed eCobalt Solutions.
Jervois advised the market today it has closed its plan of arrangement with eCobalt following shareholder approvals from both companies and the final go-ahead from the British Columbia Supreme Court.
In a deal valued at around C$57.6 million (A$44.1 million), Jervois will now acquire the remaining issued and outstanding common shares of eCobalt (that it doesn’t already own), exchanging 1.65 Jervois ordinary shares for each eCobalt common share held.
It will also become the owner of eCobalt’s flagship Idaho cobalt project in the US. Under the terms of the merger, Jervois has agreed to spend C$10 million on advancing the project towards completion of a feasibility study and into construction.
According to Jervois, the merger will create “an industry-leading cobalt investment vehicle with significant nickel and copper exposure, strong development stage assets with a global pipeline of attractive development opportunities and exploration projects”.
The newly formed company said it was “well financed to advance and further de-risk its project pipeline” on the back of Jervois’ successful $16.5 million capital raising, announced late last month.
First Cobalt’s failed roadblock
The achievement comes despite attempts by First Cobalt Corp to prevent the deal from going ahead.
Earlier this month, First Cobalt, which owns a 5.8% stake in eCobalt, told eCobalt shareholders to reject the merger as they would get “nothing of value in return” for giving up 53% of the company.
Jervois and eCobalt responded to the opposition, calling the claims “self-serving”, “false” and “misleading”.
Under the arrangement, eCobalt is entitled to nominate two of its directors to join Jervois’ board.
It has chosen former eCobalt chief executive officer Michael Callahan and chairman Scott Hean, who will both be appointed as non-executive directors.
Meanwhile, Simon Clarke will step down from his position on the board and become Jervois’ executive general manager of corporate affairs.
Mr Clarke was previously the chief executive officer of Uganda-focused M2 Cobalt and was appointed to Jervois’ board as a non-executive director when the M2 Cobalt merger was completed in June.
Subject to TSX approval, eCobalt shares are expected to be delisted as of the close of market on Wednesday.
Jervois has applied for a listing on the OTCQX in the US. In its update today, the company said the review process was nearing completion and it expected the listing to be active “shortly”.
Jervois shares climbed 11.11% on the news of the merger close to reach $0.25 by mid-afternoon trade.