Australian Mines shares surge on cobalt deal with SK Innovation – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – February 20, 2018)

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Shares of battery and technology metals developer Australian Mines Ltd surged on Tuesday after the company signed an off-take agreement with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation for nickel and cobalt from its flagship Sconi project.

The commodity off-take agreement, which is for an initial period of seven years, will be for SK Innovation’s newly developed battery manufacturing plants in Hungary and Korea, Australian Mines said on Monday in a statement announcing the deal.

The agreement is contingent on Australian Mines obtaining financing for the project in Australia’s far north east by the end of 2018 and for mining to start before the end of 2020.

“The signing of the agreement with SK Innovation is a landmark occasion for Australian Mines and its shareholders,” Managing Director Benjamin Bell said in the statement.

“As the only Australian cobalt-nickel-scandium company to have secured an off-take for 100 percent of its expected cobalt and nickel output, the company has (shown that)…Australian Mines is unequivocally a leader in Australia’s cobalt sector.”

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