Critical Metals lists in London as mining IPOs multiply

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Junior mining firm Critical Metals is set to list in London on Tuesday, the latest in a pipeline of mining initial public offerings (IPO) previously delayed by COVID-19.

Critical Metals will list on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange at 0700 GMT at a price of 5p per share.

Once listed, Critical Metals said it would seek to acquire mines in Africa producing copper, cobalt, tin, tantalum, niobium, vanadium, rare earths, beryllium, cesium, or antimony.

The company aims to find new sources of supply of these resources, many of which are mined or processed mainly in China, CEO Russell Fryer said.

“COVID-19 worked in our favour, because COVID-19 showed how dependent the world is on Chinese supply lines,” Fryer said. “We need to rethink our economies.”

The IPO is a year late, having been delayed first by political uncertainty in the United Kingdom, and then by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also the latest in a string of mining IPOs in London, suggesting the market is becoming more attractive for resource companies.

Tirupati Graphite, which mines graphite in Madagascar and processes it to make specialty graphite and graphene in India, also announced its intention to list in London and is targeting an end-October IPO.

Tirupati aims to tap growing demand for graphite, which is used in energy storage, industrial materials and lithium-ion batteries for electric cars.

Tirupati CEO Shishir Kumar Poddar said most of the world’s graphite is produced in China, but he sees Africa becoming a key graphite-producing region.

Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Hugh Lawson