Critical Metals rings NASDAQ bell in New York City

Critical Metals rings NASDAQ bell in New York City

February 29, 2024 Off By Jack Baker

European Lithium (ASX:EUR) has completed its long-awaited marry-up with Sizzle Corp to form Critical Metals Corp and smash a milestone by starting trade on the NASDAQ as new venture Critical Metals Corp (NASDAQ:CRML).

The venture will continue to pursue a combined vision to develop Europe’s first fully permitted lithium mine.

Perth-based explorer European Lithium was issued shares in Critical Metals worth $1.09 billion at the time of the open of trade, a value which dwarfs its current market capitalisation of about $130 million and suggests its flagship Austrian Wolfsberg Lithium Project and continental assets have been undervalued.

European Lithium Chairman and new Critical Metals Corp Executive Chairman Tony Sage said the venture was thrilled to complete a transaction which supports the development of a foundational lithium asset for Europe’s green energy transition.

“With the funds raised in the process and with access to capital markets in the United States, Critical Metals is now well positioned to become a key supplier for the lithium-ion battery supply chain in Europe,” Mr Sage said.

“We look forward to advancing the Wolfsberg project as we prepare to produce strategic lithium products at scale in the coming years.

“In addition to advancing our plans at our Wolfsberg project, we are also evaluating additional assets across a variety of sectors in the strategic resources space to bring under the Critical Metals banner.”

Sizzle Corp Director and CRML board member Carolyn Trabuco added that Wolfsberg addressed a crucial local lithium supply gap to support Europe’s electric vehicle market and the continent’s transition to clean energy.

“The Wolfsberg project is a strategic hard rock asset and is ideally positioned in the heart of the region’s battery supply chain with easy access to transportation outlets,” Ms Trabuco said.

“I am excited for Critical Metals’ future success as a US-listed public company and look forward to continuing to work closely with Tony and the team to execute on the many opportunities in essential metals that are in front of us.”

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Critical Metals Executive Chairman Tony Sage rings the opening bell

Future production

It was a relief for Team Sage to finally bring the CRML ticker to public trading after an arduously long process, but the bell has been rung, highlighting that realising production is never a short-term goal.

Mr Sage told Seeking Alpha that sellers were now in a bit of pain due to overproduction, but the beauty of Critical Metals’ product was that it would not be available until 2027 – and already has a buyer.

“I think (prices) have bottomed. I think it’s a small rise for the rest of this year and it starts to pick up the year after and then it really zooms up in 2027 and 2028,” Mr Sage said.

“I’m very bullish. We will come out with our product when it’s needed, but we don’t have to search for a buyer with all our product going to BMW.”

The renowned Western Australian-based dealmaker added he expected mergers and acquisitions to increase in the lithium sector, but Critical Metals would not be putting itself up to offer any time soon.

“I’m going to resist any opportunity for us to be taken out until we get all the construction contracts in place, the financing in place, et cetera et cetera,” Mr Sage said.

“Probably companies like mine will be ripe for a takeover just before the commissioning of plants and that’s a couple of years away for us.”

Wolfsberg lithium

Sitting 270 kilometres south of Vienna, the Wolfsberg Lithium Project and its current 10.98 million tonne at 1 per cent lithium oxide resource are relatively small by international standards, but the flagship asset has all the benefits of location.

The European Union has been aggressively building up a pan-continental battery industry, and last month announced €4 billion in state aid to back its battery and green technology factories.

What the EU lacks is raw supply of materials, and has the objective that by 2030, at least a tenth of its annual consumption will come from local extraction.

European Lithium aimed to become the first local supplier into an integrated European battery supply chain and has now taken a massive stride towards that end.

And when geopolitics allow, European Lithium expects its Ukrainian lithium assets will become another key focus in the war-stricken nation which may hold Europe’s largest reserves of hard rock lithium.

The company currently holds two projects that are the subject of applications for 20-year special permits, with a view toward peacetime and an internationally funded economic rebuild.

EUR Wolfsberg Online

Workers converge inside Critical Metals Corp’s Wolfsberg mine site in Austria

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