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Metals One Hit the AIM Following £2.2m Placement

1 August 2023 13:46

After much anticipation, UK-based critical metals explorer Metals One has hit the AIM following a £2.2 million Placement, bringing its compelling portfolio of European battery critical metals to investors as it looks to supply the continent’s growing demand for electric vehicles.

Promising projects

Metals One flagship is the Black Schist Project in Finland, which comprises the Rautavaara and Paltamo Projects acquired from AIM-listed Bluejay Mining and is located adjacent to Europe’s largest operating nickel mine Talvivaara, which hosts enough resources to keep the Mine producing 33,000t annually for 24 years.

Rautavaara comes prepackaged with a compelling MRE of 28.1Mt at 0.19% Nickel, 0.10% Copper, 0.01% Cobalt and 0.38% Zinc, with Paltamo holding an exploration target of up to 24Mt with anticipated grades up to 0.27% Ni, 0.13% Cu, 0.015% Co and up to 0.50% Zn.

Proceeds from the initial £2.2 million Placement will be put towards commencing initial exploration at Black Schists, with the Company planning out an exploration roadmap including modelling, surveying and drilling of the Project and culminating in the delivery and upgrade of a resource.

Alongside using funds from the Placement, exploration at Black Schist will also benefit from a cash injection of up to £1 million for initial exploration and development by Gunsynd as part of a farm-in operation for the explorer to take up to a 25 per cent holding in the Finnish Project.

Farming In

Metals One’s second project is the Brownfield Råna Project in Norway, which it holds an 80% non-operating interest in, giving the explorer exposure to the Råna intrusion which is analogous to Voisey’s Bay world-class nickel-copper-platinum-group elements deposit.

Despite having potential for massive sulphide nickel-copper-cobalt mineralisation, with disseminated and net textured/semi-massive to massive nickel and copper sulphides identified within the intrusion, the Project is relatively underexplored using modern methods, technology and deposit models.

The Project is held through a farm-in an agreement between Kingrose and Metals One wholly-owned subsidiary Scandinavian Resource Holdings who hold the Project, with Kingrose acting as the operator for the Project with the opportunity to earn up to 75 per cent interest in the Project for A$15m in stage exploration expenditure.

Kingsrose has already been hard at work at the Norwegian project with drilling commencing last month, testing recently identified highly conductive zones in geophysical surveys which have the potential to host massive sulphide nickel-copper-cobalt mineralisation.

Following the completion of the earn-in agreement, Metals One will hold 15 per cent of the Project assuming Kingsrose make the full farm-in, allowing the newly-listed explorer to maintain a hold of the Project and its successes while placing the majority of its exploration focus on developing Black Schist.

Driving the EV Revolution

Being located in Europe, Metals One portfolio is well positioned to sate the ever-growing appetite of Europe’s major electric vehicle Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and battery manufacturers who are scrambling to secure supply to meet the continent’s ever-growing demand for electric vehicles.

The portfolio’s nickel endowment is of particular interest due to the metal’s growing criticality to the industry, with the International Energy Agency estimating that the electric vehicle and battery storage industries will become the top consumer of nickel by 2040, expecting demand to rise by 60-70 per cent.

Manufacturers’ desperation to secure a steady nickel supply was demonstrated early last month when leading automotive manufacturer Stellantis made a A$7.8 million investment in European-focused battery metal explorer Kuniko Limited to expedite the development of the explorer’s battery metal portfolio and secure a 35 per cent offtake for future nickel and cobalt sulphate production from the explorer’s Norwegian projects.

The Company said with its significant interests in nickel and its approximately £9 million of exploration carry exposure through a farm-in agreement, it is aiming to help meet the significant demand for battery metals by defining resources on the doorstep of Europe’s major electric vehicle OEMs and battery manufacturers.

“Metals One has listed with interests in nickel projects with substantial exploration carry exposure through farm-ins at a critical time for battery metals driven by the continued rise in electric vehicle adoption globally,” Chief Executive of Metals One Jonathan Owen said.

“With European brownfield projects, experienced partners, and funded work programmes in place, our projects are well positioned for rapid advancement as we seek to establish ethically mined sources of critical minerals, including nickel, in Europe, close to future customers.”

Following its first day of trading, MET1’s share price currently stands at 4.50 British pence (1.54 pm UTC+ 8 hours).

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