Jervois secures $100M finance for American plans

DUAL-listed Jervois Mining has successfully completed a Nordic-style bond issue, organised with Clarksons Platou Securities, to help complete construction of its Idaho cobalt operations in the United States.
Jervois secures $100M finance for American plans Jervois secures $100M finance for American plans Jervois secures $100M finance for American plans Jervois secures $100M finance for American plans Jervois secures $100M finance for American plans

Jervois' holdings in Idaho

Haydn Black

Reporter

The company was looking for US$80-100 million, and raised the full amount. 
 
The bonds come with an annual coupon of 12.5% and an issue discount to par of 2%, and are repayable by mid-2026.
 
Jervois said the issue preserved its commercial flexibility, by allowing it to avoid committing offtake contracts too early in what is an improving market for the metal.
 
It is targeting commercial concentrate production at ICO from mid-2022, its first step to becoming a vertically integrated speciality nickel and cobalt producer.
 
The company, which is seeking to change its name to Jervois Global, is also working on a plan to acquire the Sao Miguel Paulista refinery in Brazil, where it plans to process its cobalt concentrates after a restart in 2022 and expansion in 2023.
 
The aim is to sell refined cobalt products from SMP to key customers across the US, and potentially Europe and Asia.
 
ICO is expected to be the only operating cobalt mine in the US. 
 
The company secured the incomplete mine in 2019 via its merger with eCobalt.
 
Some $127 million has been invested into ICO to date. Construction began in 2011, but has been suspended twice due to the cobalt price.
 
With the US now keen to secure supplies to cobalt without any of the issues linked to production from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jervois feels like ICO's time has finally arrived. 
 
Jervois continues to engage with the US government, which has highlighted a need for domestic, secure cobalt production, and says the Biden administration has made positive noises about potential funding and policy support for ICO - which may allow the bonds to be partially drawn down or refinanced.
 
Around $91 million is required for the restart, and low-interest loans from the US government would be ideal, offering less dilution.
 
Jervois expects to draw on the first $50 million from the bonds later this year, following finalisation of the initial bankable feasibility study into SMP's restart. 
 
SMP began production in 1981, but was suspended in 2016 in tandem with activities at Niquelandia, its primary source of nickel carbonate.
 
Jervois plans stage one to produce 10,000 tonnes per annum of nickel products and 2500tpa of electrolytic cobalt using the existing infrastructure. 
 
Stage two involves integration of a pressure oxidation autoclave to support expansion of the existing facility. 
 
Jervois last raised A$45 million in October 2020 at 30.5c, in a "significantly oversubscribed" placement at just a 1.2% discount. It started the current quarter with remaining cash of $41 million.
 
The stock has traded between 15.5-67c over the past year, and was last traded at 59.5c, capitalising it at $477 million.
 
BW Equities has a price target on the stock of 70c.