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Scandinavia-focused Beowulf Mining (LON:BEM) has jumped into the new year and the graphite space - with the acquisition of a private firm, with four early stage projects in Finland.
Shares added over 8% to change hands at 6.375p each.
The firm will buy Oy Fennoscandian Resources AB in paper with an initial payment of 2.1mln shares, which is the equivalent of £124,000 at yesterday's closing price of 5.9p and 450,000 deferred shares, worth £27,000.
The four projects in question are Haapamäki, Piipumäki, Kolari and Viistola, with the latter anticipated to contain graphitic carbon grading 20-35%.
Graphite has been declared supply-critical by both the US and the EU, and is an ingredient used in advanced technology manufacturing.
Beowulf's chief executive Kurt Budge told investors: "Fennoscandian gives Beowulf a jump-start into the graphite sector, providing the company with an attractive portfolio of projects in a known and well understood mining jurisdiction.
"Beowulf has been assessing potential acquisition targets and conducting due diligence over the last 14-months with a view to looking beyond solely delivering exploration success and towards delivering production."
"With Kallak in Sweden and Fennoscandian in Finland, Beowulf is developing a high quality portfolio of assets in a well-established mining region."
Asa Bridle at house broker Cantor noted the firm's 270% share price rise last year and now this paper deal.
Initial assessment of the acquisition’s portfolio should provide another source of newsflow for the company, while it continues its pursuit of the exploitation licence for the Kallak iron ore project in Sweden, said the broker.
It repeats a 'buy' stance but keeps its target under review ahead of the Swedish government’s decision on Kallak.
"Though graphite prices fell last year, the fall was modest (c.-10%) compared to the major commodities as its use in growth applications such as a lithium ion batteries tempered reduced demand from its traditional consumers including steel makers,” notes Bridle.
Elsewhere, Shore Capital said that of the four projects there is apparently high graphitic carbon at the Viistola project (20-35% Cg), “high grade” (Cg not provided) and “attractive flake sizes” (0.1-2.0mm) at Haapamäki, and “evidence of high quality graphite flakes” at Piipumäki.
"Beowulf’s workplan for 2016 is to include ranking these projects ahead of prioritisation of exploration funds," it notes.