Critical Metals narrows Africa targets as sets out rationale for investment in 2021

CRITICAL Metals has made a short-list of potential acquisitions of companies producing minerals such as vanadium, antimony, and copper/cobalt from an initial list of 16 targets compiled at the time of its London listing in September, said the firm’s CEO, Russell Fryer.

Commenting in a note to shareholders, Fryer said: “Looking forward to the year ahead, we are committed to rigorously evaluating this targeted list of potential opportunities to ensure that we secure and execute the right initial transaction and build value for shareholders”.

Fryer said the on-going trade war between the US and China had highlighted the importance of “strategic thinking” around certain minerals crucial in the manufacture of renewable energy and in decarbonising the drive-train.

The global strategic metals market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.88% between 2018 and 2025.

It was important to “.. ensure a stable supply of metals that will allow economies to operate and grow and avoid being at the mercy of foreign competitors,” he said. “For example, China dominates current production of rare earth minerals.”

Fryer, who worked formerly at Deutsche Bank and RBC, co-founded Western Uranium Corporation which became the largest holder of in-situ vanadium and uranium pounds in the US in 2015 owing to M&A activity, according to Fryer’s Linked-In account.

The company should have listed in 2019, but it was delayed owing to uncertainty created by Brexit, followed by interruptions posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Covid-19 worked in our favour, because Covid-19 showed how dependent the world is on Chinese supply lines,” Fryer told Reuters in September. “We need to rethink our economies.”

The company has earmarked transactions in Africa.

According to a company presentation in December, Critical Metals had identified brownfield developments in vanadium, antimony, tantalum/niobium, tin and copper/cobalt.

Shares in the company rose about 7% in London today valuing it at £1.86m.

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