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The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (“ICCC”) advises that it does not have any competition concerns on the proposed acquisition of Highlands Pacific Limited (“Highlands Pacific”) by Cobalt 27 Capital Corporation (“Cobalt 27”) which was announced in the media at the beginning of the year. 

Following the announcement of the proposed acquisition, the ICCC conducted an independent investigation and sought information from both parties to the acquisition as well as relevant stakeholders within the mining industry.

ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain said after considering the main business areas of both Highlands Pacific and Cobalt 27, the ICCC considered the relevant ‘market’ for this proposed acquisition is the market for the supply of mined cobalt and the supply of mined nickel.

“Based on ICCC’s review of the information provided by Cobalt 27 and other market information available made to it, the ICCC found that there are no serious competition concerns and has considered not to intervene at this point in time.”

“The ICCC however advises that it reserves its rights to revisit this matter should new information suggests that the acquisition will give rise to serious anti-competitive effects in a market,” Mr Ain added.

Cobalt 27 is a Canadian-based non-operating mining company that invests mainly in battery metals streaming and royalty offering direct exposure to cobalt, nickel and lithium (integral elements in technologies of electric vehicles and energy storage systems). Highlands Pacific, on the other hand, is an Australian-based, PNG incorporated mining and exploration company listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange as well as the Australian Stock Exchange and currently holds interests in four mining projects/tenements in Papua New Guinea.

Commissioner Ain said the ICCC was thankful for the assistance of the PNG office of Dentons Lawyers and the legal team of the parties to the acquisition in cooperating with the ICCC and ensuring that the ICCC’s concerns and its requests for information were attended to in a timely manner.

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