Hanrui Cobalt applies for HK listing to fund expansion

Cobalt oxide, blue pigment. (Stock Image)

Nanjing Hanrui Cobalt Co, one of China’s biggest producers of the metal used in EVs, has applied to list shares in Hong Kong as it seeks funds to expand production and diversify into other battery metals such as lithium and nickel.

The company, which is already listed in Shenzhen and has market capitalisation of 24.1 billion yuan ($3.7 billion), said on Friday it had filed an application to list H-shares on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange after receiving approval from China’s securities regulator on June 9.

Its application comes as prices for cobalt have risen by more than 40% this year amid resurgent demand from the electric vehicle (EV) sector.

Hanrui can currently produce 10,500 tonnes of cobalt products and 35,000 tonnes of copper annually through its operations in China and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world’s main source of cobalt.

Funds from the Hong Kong share offering will be used for “overseas investment, acquisition and exploration of upstream mineral resources related to (EVs) such as cobalt, nickel and lithium,” Hanrui said in an application to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.

The proceeds will also go toward expanding Hanrui’s production midstream and downstream in China and overseas, said the document, which had amounts in Hong Kong dollars redacted.

Hanrui said it is building new facilities in the southern Chinese city of Ganzhou to produce 10,000 tonnes per year of cobalt chemicals, such as cobalt sulphate, and 26,000 tonnes per year of battery precursor materials.

“Completion of these projects will further expand our cobalt industry coverage and enhance our market competitiveness,” it said, putting combined investment at 1.8 billion yuan and estimating that operations will begin in November 2023.

($1 = 6.4559 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(By Tom Daly, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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