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Kuniko Limited


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Our Big Bet for KNI

To develop a sustainable battery metals mine within European borders that is of strategic importance - and hence highly valuable as an acquisition target.

Investment Memo: Kuniko Limited (ASX:KNI) - LIVE

Opened: 21-Jan-2022

Shares Held at Open: 2,639,750

What does KNI do?

KNI holds a portfolio of battery metals exploration assets (copper, nickel, and cobalt) in Norway.

What is the macro theme?

Copper, nickel and cobalt are all metals that are required for electrification and decarbonisation.

Copper is used in EVs and EV chargers, while nickel and cobalt are used in EV batteries, notably the NCM (Nickel, Cobalt Manganese) EV batteries that should form the foundation of the European EV push.

Commodities that can be sourced in a low or zero carbon manner, should also be favoured by end users in the EV supply chain as Europe aims to meet its net-zero emission goals.

Why did we invest in KNI?

Ethical, sustainable locally sourced battery metals

Ethical, sustainable locally sourced battery metals in Europe is our top long term investment theme. Zero-Carbon Copper, Nickel and Cobalt exposure all within the same company.

Historically producing projects

Projects are not greenfield assets, targets put together together based off historically producing mines. We know the mineralisation is there with an extensive mining history that are still to be analysed with modern technology.

Impressive management team and board

KNI has the same team as behind Vulcan, with VUL remaining 25.85% shareholders in KNI. The team has the established relationships and access to potential off-takers, major investors, bankers, technology, and advisors.

Cap structure leveraged to growth

Low number of shares on issue (39 million), with VUL retaining one-quarter, meaning that the capital structure is leveraged to success. There are no options on issue to dilute shareholders positions.

What do we expect KNI to deliver?

Objective #1: Results from geophysical and geochemical surveys and analysis

Detailed evaluation of the geophysics & geochemical data-sets as well as soil/rock chip sampling assays as part of target generation works for expected drilling in 2022.

Historic drill-core logging & re-analysis of drilling data to also be incorporated in target generation works.

Objective #2: Drilling of highest priority drill targets in 2022

Target generation works expected to be completed in early-2022, with the highest priority targets to be drilled in the Norwegian summer months (mid-2022).

Objective #3: Assess and acquire new European battery metals projects

Investment thesis will be reviewed after the highest priority targets are drilled after the assays from drilling are received.

What could go wrong?

Exploration risk

Although KNI is working with a historic mine there is potential for KNI’s drilling to show up results that disappoint - if this is the case or the drilling needs to go deeper the economics of the project could be affected

Market risk

While the commodities that KNI are targeting are at elevated prices, there is the possibility that the prices of these commodities falls, impacting the economics of the project and the ability to access financing

Funding risk

As of their September 2021 quarterly, KNI had ~$7M in cash which is sufficient funding for initial drilling. Subsequent drilling and development works will however depend on both good drilling results and commodity prices - should the drilling not go well or the commodity prices fall this would likely impact KNI’s ability to access funding for the project

What is our investment plan?

Our strategy with early stage explorers is to achieve free carry prior to the initial drilling results, which we expect in mid to late 2022. Because of KNI's European battery metals thematic, management team and connection to Vulcan we plan to hold ~60% of the initial position to see the entire story play out over at least 2 to 3 years.

Disclosure: The authors of this article and owners of Next Investors, S3 Consortium Pty Ltd, and associated entities, own 2,639,750 KNI shares at the time of writing this memo. S3 Consortium Pty Ltd has been engaged by KNI to share our commentary on the progress of our investment in KNI over time.

Investment Milestones in KNI

✅ Initial Investment: @ 20c
✅ Top Slice
✅ Free Carry
✅ Increase Investment: @ $1.00
✅ Free Carry

🔲 Take Profit
✅ Price increases 300% from initial entry
✅ Price increases 500% from initial entry
✅ Price increase 1000% from initial entry
✅ 12 Month Capital Gain Discount
🔲 Hold remaining Position for next 2+ years

Our Past Commentary on Kuniko Limited

Date Title
18-Jan-2023 $ KNI Now Drilling - First of Three Drill Campaigns this Quarter
11-Oct-2022 $ KNI hits cobalt in all 8 drill holes at primary target
20-Jul-2022 $ KNI kept drilling after it kept seeing visible cobalt - assay results should get interesting
02-Jul-2022 $ 0.630 Tax loss selling over, market back in August?
28-Jun-2022 $ KNI Hits Visual Cobalt in all 5 Holes at Middagshvile Target
09-May-2022 $ KNI is Now Drilling for Cobalt in the EU - Three EM Targets to Aim For
23-Apr-2022 $ 1.190 What exactly is a share price catalyst?
14-Apr-2022 $ KNI Drilling 18 Days Away, Cobalt Targets Firmed Up
19-Mar-2022 $ 1.130 Scott Morisson's "Shopping List" of Critical Minerals
15-Mar-2022 $ EU urgently needs ESG grade cobalt for EV transition - Russia and DRC supplies are ruled out
26-Feb-2022 $ 0.805 The War Begins, Cybersecurity, Food Security, Energy Independence and Precious Metals
05-Feb-2022 $ 1.000 The "Lesser Kown" Energy Transition Metals: Copper, Aluminium, Graphite, Helium, Rare Earths
22-Jan-2022 $ 1.100 Our Investment Approach, Energy Cold War, Ukraine, Supply Chain Crisis
21-Jan-2022 $ Modern exploration methods lead to additional drilling targets
11-Dec-2021 $ 1.295 ASX rests pre-Christmas as the market trades on very low volumes
06-Dec-2021 $ KNI Geophysics Unveils EM Conductor Under Historic Cobalt Mine
04-Dec-2021 $ 1.300 Omicron, Inflation and Investment Memos
08-Nov-2021 $ KNI delivers multiple conductors on copper and cobalt - Drill targets next
06-Nov-2021 $ 1.785 COP26, Battery Metals, Green Energy
16-Oct-2021 $ 2.040 Mainstream media casts a big spotlight on Green Hydrogen
11-Oct-2021 $ Fast start for KNI with more news on Zero Carbon Battery metals
18-Sep-2021 $ 1.980 Why uranium stocks are soaring, one good movie recommendation
15-Sep-2021 $ 2.470 KNI commences EM surveys - will they find EM conductors? Find out next month...
04-Sep-2021 $ 2.660 Annual Reports, Uranium and a Welcome to New Subscribers
28-Aug-2021 $ 1.965 Recap of the KNI IPO and share price run
24-Aug-2021 $ 0.805 Introducing Kuniko (ASX:KNI): Zero Carbon Copper, Nickel and Cobalt

How the renewable energy transition will drive copper demand

Dec 13, 2022

Macro: Copper

Approximately 10,000km of new transmission infrastructure will be needed to reach 100% renewable energy according to the Australian Energy Market Regulator (AEMO).

In a new report released this week, AEMO outlined the Engineering Framework to reach the first point of 100% renewable penetration.

Our key takeaway from the report is that Australia, and any other countries interested in renewable generation, are going to need A LOT of copper to upgrade the power infrastructure for a renewable energy generation.

Renewable energy like solar, hydro and wind are seldom installed at the same location as fossil fuel generation (wind farms are not built on top of coal mines).

This means that the power generation between a wind farm and a coal fired power station isn’t a ‘straight swap’ of energy.

10,000km of new powerline infrastructure will be needed to be built from the renewable energy sources to the energy grid to maximise energy efficiency.

We expect this to be a major demand driver for copper as the powerline infrastructure upgrades are fast tracked across Australia and other countries who are moving towards renewable energy.

You can read the full report from AEMO here (warning, it’s long):

Kuniko getting prepped for 3 pronged attack


Nov 30, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022

Our European battery metals Investment Kuniko (ASX:KNI) is gearing up for drilling that could start as early as January 2023.

We’re eager to see KNI get back in the field - and build on early success at the company’s cobalt project.

KNI intends to complete 4000m of drilling across three projects and has permits for more drilling at the Skuterud cobalt project, the Ringerike nickel project and a permit is expected to be issued for the Undal-Nyberget copper-zinc project in December.

The Skuterud cobalt project has already returned cobalt mineralisation in all 8 drill holes.

We’ve been busy familiarising ourselves with KNI’s other projects - particularly the Undal-Nyberget copper project which has returned some very promising historic sample grades 1.7 % copper and 2.82 % zinc and a silver credit of 35.7 g/t to boot.

KNI is aiming to complete a 1000–1500-metre maiden diamond drilling campaign at this project in early May 2023.

Once again, KNI is using modern exploration techniques and is firming up targets based off the below EM conductors:

KNI is correlating geochemical anomalies in soil samples here with the goal of hitting massive sulphide mineralisation with strong base metal grades.

Also of note, is the Ertelien Nickel Project at Ringerike which has a non-JORC resource from 2009 - we’d be looking for KNI to build on this resource and quickly bring it into JORC compliance.

Ringerike is prospective for nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group elements and drilling will take place in February of next year.

As KNI Investors we’re pleased with this trio of planned drilling programs - Skuterud in January, Ringerike in February and Undal-Nyberget in March.

We think that gives KNI three good chances at achieving further exploration success.

Kuniko adds more licenses to Norwegian battery metals portfolio


Nov 09, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Investment Thesis 2 : Historically producing projects

Today, our European battery metals Investment Kuniko (ASX:KNI) announced it had been granted 27 new exploration licenses across three of the company’s projects.

Given that KNI is targeting a maiden drilling program at the Undal-Nyberget Copper Project towards the end of Q1 2023, we’re glad KNI has expanded its footprint in Norway, particularly in this area.

KNI was granted:

  • 19 exploration licenses at the Undal-Nyberget Copper Project, increasing KNI’s land position by 545% to 178 square kilometres.

  • 4 exploration licenses at Skuterud increasing the project area by 24 square kilometres to 76 square kilometres. - We note this project has already returned positive cobalt-copper assays.

  • 4 exploration licenses at the Ringerike Battery Metals Project - extending the project area by 34 square kilometres to 395 square kilometres - this area is prospective for “nickel, copper, and cobalt as well as platinum group metals”

This is where Undal-Nyberget is located in Norway:

And the region where Undal-Nyberget sits is home to a number of historically mined deposits:

KNI is using modern exploration techniques and aeromagnetics, “appear to directly connect the licence geology to the Tverfjellet deposit.

You can learn more about the Tverfjellet deposit here.

What’s next for KNI:

  • Follow up exploration at its cobalt project (Skuterud) 🔄
  • Exploration programs to be announced on other projects 🔄

To see our detailed notes on what’s next check out our recent KNI note here.

3 Drill Programs in Q1 after strong cobalt results


Nov 02, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022

Our European battery metals exploration Investment Kuniko (ASX:KNI) released its quarterly report on Monday.

The report was a comprehensive look at KNI’s progress to date, and included more information on the company’s plans going forward.

Most important to us, is the fact that KNI is targeting a three-pronged exploration strategy in Q1 2023.

First, KNI will be testing further targets along strike at Skuterud, where they found significant cobalt-copper mineralisation in all 8 drill holes from the company’s first drill program at the historically producing mine.

Second, KNI is targeting a maiden drill campaign at another brownfields battery metals project called Ringerike.

Ringerike is 15kms away from Skuterud and has returned rock assay grades of up to 1.55% Ni and 4.12% Cu.

With a promising stream sediment sampling program already completed, KNI will aim to drill Ringerike in Q1 2023 as well.

Finally, KNI is also pursuing a Q1 2023 drill program for the Undal-Nyberget copper project to test “high-priority targets” pending the results of currently ongoing geophysics analysis.

Undal-Nyberget is located to the north of Skuterud on the west coast of Norway:

Undal-Nyberget had historical production grades 1.15 % Cu, 1.86 % Zn and surface grades of up to 2% Cu.

Those are excellent copper and zinc grades and Undal-Nyberget looks promising to us at this stage.

All up it means Q1 2023 should be a very busy period for KNI as they pursue this three-pronged exploration strategy.

KNI finished the most recent quarter with a solid $8.3M in cash.

Significant multi-element anomaly clusters along strikes


Sep 26, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Objective 1 : Results from geophysical and geochemical surveys and analysis

Zero carbon battery metals explorer, Kuniko (ASX:KNI) today released geochemical sampling results from its Skuterud Cobalt Project in Norway.

The detailed geochemical sampling assay results from the 2022 exploration program — from areas away from historic mine workings — have indicated significant multi-element anomaly clusters along strike.

Overall, we think the geochemical sampling program could be a valuable part of future target generation works at KNI’s Skuterud Cobalt Project.

The results have now been integrated with the data set from the previous 2021 campaign to reconfirm the distinctive Skuterud geochemical arsenic-cobalt-copper signature that was identified in the 2021 geochemical data set.

These results provide further evidence of the prospectivity of the project with the potential for additional targets.

KNI reports that the drill core assay data should be available by the end of September. Combined with the visible cobalt mineralisation encountered in 7 of 8 drill holes at Skuterud, this additional data will be integrated into ongoing analysis with the geochemical dataset and will further guide interpretations of the soil sampling data.

KNI reports it has also identified further potential exploration targets at Skuterud for follow-up investigations to test the along-strike continuations of known mineralisation at the Dovikkøllen and Jupedal sites.

Meanwhile, rock and soil assays are complete from KNI’s Nord Helgeland Project in the far north of Norway. However, spodumene was not visually identified in the samples and the pegmatite field does not immediately appear to demonstrate characteristics of other fertile pegmatite fields elsewhere.

CEO Antony Beckman explained that, “the results are not immediately indicative of a prospect of sufficient size to currently warrant taking this exploration further, relative to our other projects. Consequently, our focus and efforts will be firmly on the development of our high potential prospects at Skuterud Cobalt, Ringerike Nickel and UndalNyberget Copper.”

Critical minerals quickly becoming a priority in the EU

Sep 20, 2022

Macro: Commodities

Readers who follow our Investment Portfolios will know that we have been making strategic Investments in commodities that have made critical minerals lists for the EU, USA, Japan, India and Australia.

These minerals are considered critical to the digitisation and decarbonisation macro thematic and include lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel and PGE’s, to name a few.

Over the weekend, the following speech from the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, gave a speech announcing that the EU would look to pass a “European Critical Minerals Act”.

The aim is to avoid the position Europe finds itself in with oil and gas, where it relies on a single trading partner like Russia.

The act would see the EU put in place:

  1. Agreements with partners like Chile, New Zealand, Mexico, India and Australia for the supply of critical minerals.
  2. Identification of strategic projects across all along the supply chain from mine sites to processing/refining projects.
  3. The act would also see the setting up of strategic reserves of these critical minerals.

All of this bodes well for our Investments across commodities identified as “critical minerals” giving these projects strategic importance on the world stage.

To see a list of all the critical minerals in the Australian Critical Minerals strategy document, check out the following link.

Here is a snippet from that speech:

Four targets at Kuniko’s nickel copper project


Sep 12, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Investment Thesis 2 : Historically producing projects

Our European battery metals Investment Kuniko (ASX:KNI) recently released some promising results from sediment sampling work at its Ringerike project which lies just 15kms away from its Skuterud project.

While we’re eagerly awaiting the assay results from Skuterud where there was visible cobalt mineralisation in 7 of the 8 drill cores, KNI’s other exploration work is throwing up some interesting targets.

Ringerike includes a historically producing mine called Ertelien and between 1688 and 1716 it produced 400kt of ore at a grade of 1.04% nickel, 0.69% copper and 0.17% cobalt.

KNI also has rock chip assays as high as 1.55% nickel and 4.12% copper from the following locations:

Importantly, the stream sediment sampling program confirmed the north-northwest and south- southeast trend.

CEO Antony Beckmand said the work at Ringerike is aiming to see if there is a “potential extension of cobalt mineralisation from the nearby Skuterud Cobalt Project license area”.

KNI noted that it now has four targets at Ringerike and future works would pursue a magmatic nickel-copper sulphide deposit type, like Voisey's Bay — a 6,000 tonnes-per-day mine in Canada operated by Vale S.A., the largest producer of nickel in the world.

While that is a tantalising prospect, KNI still has a range of follow up exploration activities to attend to with further geochemical sampling work to come in Q2 2023 following the end of the Scandinavian winter.

What’s next for KNI? The countdown is on to get the cobalt assays back from Skuterud, which are expected in late September.

Copper demand to outstrip supply by early 2030s?

Sep 07, 2022

Macro: Copper

The following article from Bloomberg touches on copper's role in the decarbonisation thematic.

The article highlights the structural shortage expected in the copper market over the coming decade. A thesis that we tend to agree with and have been making Investments based on.

With copper already the second most used industrial metal in the world and the electrification boom likely to increase demand by multiples from where it is today we think the outlook for copper demand is expected to outstrip the supply response.

At present, we hold Investments in the following companies as copper exposure:

Kuniko (ASX: KNI) - Next Investors Portfolio

  • Zero Carbon Copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium, Exploration stage, European Union (Norway)

Titan Minerals (ASX: TTM) - Next Investors portfolio

  • TTM recently started its first ever drilling program at its copper porphyry target at its project in Ecuador.

TechGen Metals (ASX: TG1) - Catalyst Hunter portfolio

  • TG1 is currently drilling one of its copper projects in WA (Australia).

Mandrake Resources (ASX: MAN) - Catalyst Hunter Portfolio

  • MAN is currently completing the acquisition of a copper project in Chile.

Auking Mining (ASX: AKN) - Catalyst Hunter Portfolio

  • AKN is currently updating its JORC resource at its project in WA. (Australia).

Click here or on the image above to read the article in full.

Our key takeaways from the article are as follows:

  • Copper is used in wind turbines, solar modules, transmission and distribution lines that carry electricity to consumers, wiring in mobile phones and the motors that power electric vehicles (EVs).
    Energy research firm BloombergNEF thinks Copper demand will increase by more than 50% between now and 2040.
  • BloombergNEF predicts that primary copper production can increase about 16% by 2040, less than the rise in demand. The research firm predicts that by the early 2030s, copper demand could outstrip supply by more than 6 million tons per year.
  • Copper mines are not able to be put into production quickly. No new copper discoveries are expected to be operational in the next three years.
  • Miners are currently mining ore grades of 0.5% copper or lower, grades that are a quarter of what they were 100 years ago. This means the ability of the majors to increase production is limited.

Noosa Mining Investor Conference round-up

Jul 22, 2022

Macro: Commodities

Spanning three days on the pristine Sunshine Coast of Queensland, the Noosa Mining Investor Conference kicked off its 12th year on Wednesday. Attracting a diverse and large spread of corporates, brokers, retail and institutional investors, this year’s event featured over 60 companies presenting and over 1,000 people in attendance, all hosted within the coastal town's Peppers Resort.

At the event, we caught up with a number of executives from our Investment companies (including AKN, AOU, BPM and PFE) as well as companies of interest, either as potential additions to one of our Portfolios, or to gain expert insight to macro and regional headwinds impacting the markets.

The conference is held in the ideal location to mix work with pleasure, and meet a host of CEOs of ASX juniors. Each day ends with a short ‘business at the bar’ session that quickly morphs into talking tactics about where to eat and drink. On Thursday and Friday nights, many head to the Noosa Surf Club for its networking sessions, enjoying its glassed indoor area and open deck to the beach.

We look forward to providing updates on companies we met with down the road.

China considering US$1.1 trillion infrastructure stimulus

Jul 15, 2022

Macro: Commodities

China plans to make up to US$1.1 trillion in financing available for infrastructure spending, which we think will increase commodity demand. Read the following Bloomberg article for details.

Read the full article here.

Below are our key takeaways:

  • China is making 7.2 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) in funds available for infrastructure spending.
  • According to Citigroup, infrastructure investment in 2022 is likely to rise by 7.7% versus 2021.
  • President Xi Jinping has called for an “all out” effort to increase infrastructure spending this year to fuel economic growth and meet a GDP growth target of around 5.5%.

The Bloomberg article touches on the impacts of China’s COVID induced lockdowns on the domestic economy.

With economic growth tipped to slow, the Chinese government is getting ready to lean on fiscal stimulus through infrastructure investment to spur economic growth.

We think this type of fiscal stimulus is likely to become a common theme in China and the West, with macro themes like decarbonisation requiring massive CAPEX.

This infrastructure spending forms part of our “commodities supercycle” investment thesis, where we see increased fiscal stimulus and CAPEX investment spurring higher demand for commodities already facing supply shortages.

China considering US$220Bn in infrastructure stimulus

Jul 08, 2022

Macro: Commodities

The following Bloomberg article highlights China’s plan to spend up to US$220 billion to spur economic growth through infrastructure spending.

All of this new infrastructure will require more commodities.

Read the full article here.

Below are our key takeaways:

  • China’s Ministry of Finance is considering US$220 billion of infrastructure funding aimed at shoring up the country’s beleaguered economy.

  • The funding is to be brought forward from next year’s quota, marking the first time the issuance has been brought forward due to concerns around the dire state of the world’s second largest economy.

  • The funding would primarily be used on infrastructure spending to boost an economy hit by Covid lockdowns and a housing downturn.

  • Commodities rallied in European trading hours following the news, with copper moving 3.6% higher on the London Metal Exchange.

For over two years, we have been writing about an upcoming commodities supercycle brought about by infrastructure spending, following decades of underinvestment in the “real economy”.

All this investment in the “real economy” requires raw materials, which is why we think the macro backdrop for commodities over the next decade is strong.

The Bloomberg article highlights the readiness of the Chinese government to lean on fiscal stimulus to spur economic growth at a time when the Chinese economy is slowing down.

Generally, governments would try to respond to slowdowns in economic growth by cutting interest rates. With this tool exhausted after the COVID pandemic, we think infrastructure spending will become the new policy of choice for governments worldwide.

Again, this infrastructure spending will increase demand for commodities which we expect will take commodity prices higher.

VW CEO breaks down batteries and supply chain issues

Jul 08, 2022

Macro: Commodities

The following Bloomberg article showcases the moves major carmaker Volkswagen is making in the batteries industry.

Read the full article here.

Below are our key takeaways:

  • VW is pressing forward with investments along its battery supply chain, commencing construction at a new cell factory in Salzgitter, Germany, one of five facilities in Europe under the carmaker’s PowerCo subsidiary.
  • Salzgitter is home to VW’s main motor factory, and it is where the company last year opened an $80 million facility to research, develop and test EV batteries.
  • Roughly $2 billion will be invested in the new cell factory, where production is scheduled to begin in 2025.
  • VW expects its battery business to generate €20 billion in revenue by the end of this decade.
  • VW CEO Herbert Diess said, “We are invested in some startups and we are looking forward to a joint venture together with Bosch for the machine tools and equipment for those plants, so we’re really gearing up to become one of the bigger battery cell producers”.

The news is just another sign that downstream investment in battery supply chains is showing no signs of slowing down.

VW is one of the world's largest carmakers and is heavily investing in downstream production capacity. It expects this part of its business to generate over €20 billion in revenues by the end of the decade.

This is a situation where investment in midstream/downstream (manufacturing/battery industry) is far ahead of upstream investment (mining), this leads to the supply/demand imbalances for the raw materials required to produce batteries only becoming worse.

The imbalance comes from the timing of these mega projects. Building a downstream / midstream facility could take 1-4 years whereas it takes around 7 years on average to bring a new resource discovery into the production stage.

As a result, we think that raw materials prices will remain high for at least the next decade whilst the mining industry catches up to demand.

Share Purchase Plan closes raising $533k


Jun 01, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Risk 3 : Funding risk

This morning our battery metals exploration Investment Kuniko (ASX: KNI) announced that it has raised $533k from shareholders through its share purchase plan (SPP).

The capital raise was completed at $1 per share, on the same terms as the recent placement that was completed raising $8M.

Combined, KNI has now managed to raise $8.5M via both the placement and share purchase plan (SPP) at $1 per share. This should mean that KNI now has over $13M in cash in the bank.

Cobalt drilling almost half completed, assays pending


May 25, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Objective 2 : Drilling of highest priority drill targets in 2022

This morning our battery metals exploration Investment Kuniko (ASX: KNI) put out an update on its drilling program across three of its highest priority cobalt targets in Norway.

The drilling was initially planned for ~2,800m across 7 different diamond drillholes. As of today, KNI has completed ~1,007 metres of drilling mostly at the first “Døvikkollen B” target with the first drillhole started at the second “Damtjern'' target started on the 20th of May.

KNI expects drilling at the highest priority target “Middaghsvile” to start at the beginning of June. This is the target where previous drillers Berkut Minerals missed the giant geophysical anomaly and is the closest to the historic mine shafts.

To read more about these three targets and our deep dive into this drilling program check out our last note on KNI here: KNI is Now Drilling for Cobalt in the EU - Three EM Targets to Aim For

With drilling ongoing, KNI has also confirmed that the turnaround times for results will be ~90 days from drilling being completed.

Results are being submitted to the assay labs on a weekly basis so we should start to see the first batch of assay results within the next 60-90 days given some of the drilling has already been completed.

Ongoing soil sampling across a 9km cobalt trend


May 25, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Objective 1 : Results from geophysical and geochemical surveys and analysis

This morning our battery metals exploration Investment Kuniko (ASX: KNI) confirmed that it has completed solid sampling across a ~9km long strike zone in and around the historic cobalt works of the old Skuterud cobalt mine.

KNI confirmed that ~1,017 soil and rock samples had already been collected with another program commenced to collect samples across six separate target areas where no sampling work had been done previously.

KNI expects the results from these programs to come back in August of this year, so in line with when we can expect the assays from the drilling program.

LCT pegmatites in Norway?


May 25, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Objective 1 : Results from geophysical and geochemical surveys and analysis

This morning's announcement from our battery metals exploration Investment Kuniko (ASX: KNI) hinted at a soil sampling program which is likely to commence very soon at the company’s projects in Northern Norway.

Up until now, KNI has largely been focused on its primary cobalt prospects but we think that the news today that KNI will do some early stage fieldwork across the project in the north of Norway is great news.

The “Nord-Helgeland” project is a largely unexplored pegmatite field known to contain Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum pegmatites. Previous exploration here has shown signs of spodumene structure which contained lithium.

With the lithium market still extremely strong and demand for EU based lithium supplies we are watching to see what will come of this program.

EVs overtake phones as top source of cobalt demand


May 20, 2022

Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022

Cobalt demand is on a crash course with supply chain difficulties and Europe is going to need plenty of cobalt to satisfy its rapidly growing EV market.

In fact, EVs are now the number one source of demand for cobalt. We expect the demand for cobalt from EVs to ramp up dramatically in the coming years - and even bull cases for cobalt may underestimate the demand upside.

Our battery metals investment, Kuniko (ASX:KNI) is drilling for cobalt in Norway, right now.

Key takeaways:

  • Demand to nearly double in next 5 years, from 175K tonnes in 2021 to 320K tonnes by 2026 (Cobalt Institute)
  • Tesla’s Elon Musk has floated the idea of acquiring a mining company to gain access to the market
  • KNI is drilling in an area that used to be the largest source of cobalt in the world

For a full breakdown of why we’ve invested in KNI check out our Investment Memo by clicking the image below:

Kuniko raises A$8M, drilling commenced


May 04, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Risk 3 : Funding risk

Our European battery metals investment, Kuniko (ASX:KNI), just completed a capital raise in which notable resource investor John Hancock added to his position as a cornerstone investor.

KNI raised $8M via a placement @ $1 per share with the 8,000,000 shares to be issued on 6 May 2022.

As well as being cornerstoned by John Hancock, the KNI directors committed to taking $315k of the raise on the same terms.

In yesterday’s announcement, KNI also said that it would seek to raise a further $2M via a Share Purchase Plan (SPP) with the following key dates:

  • Record date: 29 April 2022
  • Closing date: 27 May 2022
  • Issue date: 1 June 2022 (Just in time for the completion of the drilling program which KNI confirmed would be some time in June).

This means that those who were holding shares at the close of market on the 29 April will be eligible to bid for a maximum of $30,000 in new shares, on the same terms and conditions as the placement.

The capital raise comes as KNI has just launched its first drilling program across its high priority geophysics targets from its cobalt project in Norway.

The current drilling program is key objective #2 of our 2022 KNI Investment Memo.

To see all of the key objectives we want to see KNI achieve this year, the reasons why we continue to hold KNI in our portfolio, and the key risks to our investment thesis.

Check out the memo by clicking the image below.

Letter of Intent between Beyonder AS and Kuniko


Apr 26, 2022


Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022

Batteries made from sawdust? With Kuniko’s Zero Carbon copper?

That’s the intent of today’s announcement from our battery metals Investment, Kuniko (ASX:KNI).

A Letter of Intent (LOI) has been signed between KNI and Beyonder, a Norwegian battery technology company.

Over a 3-year period, KNI and Beyonder will consider a potential offtake for KNI’s copper, use of Beyonder’s battery tech in KNI’s exploration activities, work on mining and processing innovations and other efforts to ensure zero-emissions in the battery supply chain.

Beyonder is developing a hybrid energy-storage technology called a Lithium-ion capacitor that uses sustainable materials. In particular, sawdust:

The sawdust is converted into “super-activated carbon” for the capacitor’s positive electrode.

Silicon derived from sand is used for the negative electrode.

A profile of the company notes that:

The use of a wood-derived activated carbon cathode enables the LiC to operate at higher specific power, with greater durability compared to Li-ion batteries. The LiC is non-flammable, and batteries with LiC cells can be fully charged in two minutes and recharged up to 100,000 times.

Beyonder is aiming to have its first full-scale plant operating in Norway in 2023, with the ability to produce 5 million battery cells a year.

As investors, we see KNI’s collaboration with Beyonder as a potentially fruitful arrangement down the track.

What’s next for KNI?

For now though, we’re most interested in KNI’s upcoming cobalt drilling campaign which is slated to begin 2 May.

Here is why we invested in KNI and what we expect them to achieve in 2022 - KNI Investment Memo.

More on DRC cobalt and KNI's European Cobalt Project


Mar 24, 2022

Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Investment Thesis 1 : Ethical, sustainable locally sourced battery metals

Our Zero Carbon copper, nickel and cobalt investment Kuniko (ASX:KNI) has had a solid two weeks on the market, rising more than 150% since it announced that it had been granted a drilling permit at its Norwegian cobalt project. The current geopolitical environment and cobalt supply concerns no doubt helped too.

In our recent note on our investment KNI, we highlighted a rapidly growing need to diversify the cobalt supply chain amid increased geopolitical tensions.

KNI’s Skuterud cobalt project lies in politically stable and mining friendly jurisdiction — an area that was formerly the largest cobalt producing region of the world.

Currently, some ~70% of it is sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo which produced 120,000 tonnes in 2021.

Recent media attention has centred on the various challenges the DRC faces in ethically mining the battery metal and their complex relationship with Chinese mine operators.

This New York Times article is of particular interest to us:

The article notes that, “Biden administration officials have been looking for ways to strengthen ties with Congo and gain access to critical resources like cobalt. A delegation of White House officials flew to Kinshasa, the capital, earlier this year for meetings with Mr. Tshisekedi and other top officials. The U.S. government is backing the review of mining contracts in Congo as part of an effort to crack down on corruption.

For us, this underscores how battery metals are taking on an increasingly geopolitical flavour.

Tshisekedi is the president of the DRC and his government has previously pitched a ban on the export of raw cobalt from the country and argued for localising the processing of the battery metal.

According to Reuters, a new local mine administrator is in place at the Tenke Fungurume mine which in 2020, produced 182,600 tonnes of copper and 15,400 tonnes of cobalt. That’s around 10% of total global cobalt production in 2021.

With European EVs needing cobalt more than ever before, we’re eagerly looking forward to KNI’s maiden drilling campaign in Norway, slated to begin in the first week of May.

Here is why we invested in KNI and what we expect it to achieve in 2022 - KNI Investment Memo.

Drilling permit granted for Skuterud Cobalt project


Mar 15, 2022

Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Objective 2 : Drilling of highest priority drill targets in 2022

Yesterday, KNI announced that drilling permits had been granted for a 7-hole, 2,800m diamond drilling program at its Skuterud cobalt project.

The drilling program which is expected to commence in the first week of May will be targeting three high priority EM conductors that we have covered in our last two notes for KNI.

To read about the EM target we are most interested in check out our previous note here: KNI Geophysics Unveils EM Conductor Under Historic Cobalt Mine

With previous drilling missing the EM conductor we are hoping that the modern exploration technologies KNI have used can mean KNI can make a large scale cobalt discovery.

Application for drilling permit lodged (Skuterud)


Feb 22, 2022

Investment Memo: KNI IM-2022
Objective 2 : Drilling of highest priority drill targets in 2022

KNI announced today that the drilling program at its main cobalt target (Skuterud) is on track for Q2-2022.

With the applications for a drilling permit lodged and drilling contractor “Norse Diamond Drilling AS” awarded the contract, the 7-hole, 2,800 metre program appears to be on schedule.

KNI also announced that after further review of the geophysical and geochemical data the Vangrofta copper target wasn't of sufficient size to warrant further drilling.

This comes as KNI has spent the last 6 or so months refining the highest priority drill targets to allocate its funds to drill test in 2022.

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