Electra converts debt to equity ahead of refinery construction

Battery materials firm defers interest payments on convertible notes

Electra converts debt to equity ahead of refinery construction
Electra is building North America's first cobalt sulphate refinery

Canadian battery materials company Electra is to convert $400,000 worth of debt into equity by issuing shares to holders of convertible notes in place of interest payments.

The company says the move will shore up its balance sheet amid the ramp-up of two major battery material projects in Canada – a black mass recycling operation and North America’s first cobalt sulphate refinery.

“While our primary focus is completion of the financing package for construction of the cobalt refinery, steps such as today’s support stability within our balance sheet and meeting our near-term obligations to our lenders,” says David Allen, Electra CFO.

The newly issued shares will be valued at 95pc of Electra's current trading price, and the company says it will now pay the interest to the noteholders in August this year.

In September, Electra received notice from stock exchange Nasdaq that it was not compliant with its minimum bid price requirement. The company has applied for a 180 day extension to regain a minimum price of $1 to regain listed status.

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Electra’s black mass recycling project is designed to recover high value elements found in recycled lithium-ion batteries – including lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, graphite and copper – using a proprietary metallurgical process.

In early February, Electra received a $5mn grant from the Canadian government towards construction of its upcoming cobalt sulphate refinery, which will supply South Korean battery firm LG Energy Solutions with battery grade material.

Electra says the facility – located in Temiskaming Shores, Ontario – will produce approximately 5pc of the global supply of battery grade cobalt needed for electric vehicles.

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