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Kuniko Receives A$7.8 million EV Investment

3 July 2023 17:05
Electric Vehicle

European-focused battery metal explorer Kuniko Limited receives a game-changing deal, with leading automotive manufacturer Stellantis making a A$7.8 million dollar equity investment to become a major shareholder and agreeing on a term sheet for future battery metals offtake.

A Powerful Partnership

Following the equivalent €5,000,000 investment, Stellantis will acquire a significant 19.99% shareholding in Kuniko in a strategic partnership to develop the European battery metals sector with this significant upstream investment to advance Kuniko’s Brownfield and Greenfield battery metals exploration projects in Norway.

Funds will be distributed across the explorer’s entire Norwegen portfolio, which comprises five projects targeting copper, nickel, and cobalt, with the objective of uncovering their true potential and possibly taking them through to development should they be viable.

While a number of Kuniko’s projects are still in exploration, early signs have been promising, with recent drilling at the explorer’s Skuterud Cobalt Project uncovering a new high-grade cobalt zone with assays showing grades up to 1.08% Co and drilling at the Ringerike Battery Metals Project showing Nickel Grades up to 1.43 % Ni.

Securing European EVs

Alongside the cornerstone investment, the two companies also signed a considerable offtake term sheet for 35 per cent of future nickel and cobalt sulphate production from the explorer’s Norwegian projects over nine years, with the formal agreement to be entered by the 31st of December 2027 conditional on a number of project milestones being achieved.

Stellantis’ signing of the term sheet and its investment comes as part of its plan to meet its Dare Foward 2030 electrification targets, with it building a well-structured and sustainable European battery materials cluster to reach a 100% passenger car battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales mix in Europe and a 50% passenger car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in the United States by 2030.

“We are on an aggressive path to securing a holistic portfolio of raw materials needed to meet our Dare Forward 2030 electrification targets. With Kuniko, we are adding another lever to support our European battery needs with a local and environmentally conscious solution from its Norwegian projects,” Stellantis’ Chief Purchasing and Supply Chain Officer Maxime Picat said.

Looking Ahead

The Company said that the strategic partnership demonstrates Stellantis’ confidence in its ability to deliver sustainable and ethical sources of critical battery metal.

“This collaboration represents a significant milestone for us, as it signifies not only a substantial financial backing but also a resounding validation of the immense potential of our battery metals project portfolio in Norway,” Kuniko Chief Executive Antony Beckmand said.

“Together with Stellantis, we eagerly anticipate working hand in hand to achieve exploration success, move towards production,
and make meaningful contributions to the growth and advancement of the European battery industry.”

KNI’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price has risen 37.20 per cent and is currently trading at 5.9c (4:00 pm UTC+ 8 hours).

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