Could you please provide us with a brief overview of Celsius Resources and discuss the company’s strategic vision for 2021/2020?

Celsius Resources was a recapitalized Shell company, and approximately 13 months ago, I joined as an investor and geological consultant to help the company identify a suitable project. My expertise over the past five years has focused on battery minerals, specifically lithium, graphite, and more recently, cobalt. Recognizing the opportunity to enter a cobalt project early before the market boom experienced with lithium, we commenced exploration in March 2020. Currently, we are on the verge of delivering our maiden resource within the next four to six weeks. All drilling has been completed, and we await the final assay results. Simultaneously, we are progressing with our scoping study and are well-advanced in the work programs supporting it. By May, we aim to announce the results, and assuming a positive outcome, we will initiate a pre-feasibility study, followed by further drilling and metallurgical tests to be concluded by the end of 2021. Our primary objective is to progress through these feasibility stages swiftly to capitalize on the favorable market conditions.

Are you planning on seeing the Opuwo project through to production?

Gecko Namibia, a highly diversified mining and mining services company, is a significant shareholder in Celsius Resources. Their managing director serves on the Celsius Board, and the geological exploration activities in Namibia are overseen by Dr. Rainer Ellmies, the GM of Gecko Exploration. While my expertise lies in identification, exploration, and evaluation up until the feasibility study stage, I acknowledge that building a mine is not within my realm of expertise. However, with the support of Gecko, the company has access to vital in-country expertise required for successful project development and production. Additionally, we have recently appointed Edward Legg as a project development manager, who brings extensive experience in developing and constructing copper-cobalt mines in Africa, including Zambia and the DRC. His knowledge will be invaluable to Celsius Resources.

Geographically speaking, from which regions do you observe the most investor interest?

While China holds the position of the largest cobalt refiner, we have received interest in this project from various regions. North Asian groups from Japan and Korea, as well as entities from North America and Europe, have reached out to us. Given the robust electric vehicle market and historical ties to Namibia, Germany, in particular, appears to be a prominent potential partner for this project.

How have you been financing your projects at this stage?

The initial recapitalization of the company provided the necessary funding to commence operations. In May of the previous year, we conducted a capital raising at 3.7 cents, followed by another round at 5.5 cents in October. The first round focused on retail investors through our Australian brokers, while the second round primarily consisted of institutional investors in Australia. Regarding the next round of funding, we have several options available for sourcing investments. Ideally, we would secure a significant portion from a strategic investor, someone willing to acquire a stake in the company and support it throughout the feasibility studies and mining phase.

Apart from political risk, what sets the Opuwo project in Namibia apart from the high-grade deposits in the Congo?

While our project may not have as high cobalt grades as some deposits in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), we possess other advantages that compensate for this factor. One of these advantages lies in the mineralogy of our project. Our cobalt is found in linnaeite, a cobalt sulfide mineral. This sulfide mineral allows for better concentration and recovery rates compared to oxide minerals. In the DRC, a significant portion of the cobalt is present in oxide form, resulting in relatively lower recoveries. Moreover, our cobalt-bearing mineral does not contain arsenic, making it more attractive. Additionally, our cobalt is not associated with pyrite, which means we can ultimately achieve a higher-grade cobalt concentrate. Furthermore, we have excellent infrastructure connections in comparison to the DRC, including access to power, and the water availability in northern Namibia is plentiful. While we may not reach the same grade levels as some DRC deposits, we believe that our other advantages more than compensate for this difference.

If you could convey one message to the international investment community regarding Namibia’s role in the cobalt sector, what would it be?

The recent discovery of cobalt in Namibia defies expectations by being a cobalt-dominant deposit, deviating from the norm. This project’s progress will be driven by the cobalt price, and it represents a substantial undertaking within a stable and investor-friendly jurisdiction. Investing in this long-life project is worthwhile, as we anticipate explosive growth in the cobalt market over the next five to ten years.

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