Jervois Mining takes over Canada's Ecobalt, shares jump

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian cobalt developer Jervois Mining JRV.AX will take over eCobalt Solutions ECS.TO after shareholders of the Canadian company voted in favor of the deal, Jervois said on Monday.

Jervois will acquire eCobalt in a plan of arrangement that values the deal at C$57.6 million ($44.1 million), and will become the owner of the Idaho Cobalt Project, North America’s major cobalt project.

Shares in Jervois climbed as much as 21 percent on Monday to $A0.23. Jervois announced the proposed takeover in April.

The battery minerals developer has been on a buying spree to build itself into a supplier of materials outside of China, which dominates the electric vehicle supply chain. It closed a deal to buy M2 Cobalt Corp, which has operations in Uganda, in June.

Prices for cobalt, a key material used in electric vehicle batteries, have collapsed by 70 percent to around $28,000 a ton over the past year due to a rising tide of supply from the Democratic Republic of Congo. [CCBD3]

However, concerns of unsafe work practices and child labor in the Congo have burnished the allure of sources of the raw material from elsewhere.

Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Richard Pullin