Junior explorer Rafaella Resources has started down the path to becoming a publicly listed player.

The company has launched a $5 million initial public offering of 25 million shares at 20c each ahead of a planned ASX listing. Rafaella will have a market value of $7.6 million post-listing.

Rafaella holds a right to acquire the McCleery cobalt and copper project in the Yukon Territory, Canada and is acquiring the Sandstone gold project in Western Australia.

While Sandstone will be the immediate priority for the company because of access, cobalt and copper will be a key focus for Rafaella.

“The Yukon project has got cobaltite, which is cobalt sulphide, in one known rock chip sample assay and the rest is cobalt weathering,” executive technical director Ashley Hood told Stockhead.

“If you’ve got cobaltite generally in a sulphide form that would have to be our priority really, and coming with chalcopyrite copper sulphide, both the cobalt and copper together, anyone who has got those projects that’s their priority at the moment. The cobalt market is hot.”

Cobalt players in particular have found favour with investors in the past few years thanks to rising demand for electric vehicles and constrained supply.

The commodity, which is a component of the lithium ion battery technology used in electric cars, is expected to still be in short supply in 2025.

Historical rock chip sampling returned results up to 15.6 per cent copper and 461 grams per tonne (g/t) of silver, including one sample which returned 0.76 per cent cobalt. No other samples were analysed for cobalt.

Around 0.15 per cent cobalt is considered an acceptable grade to start looking at a deposit, according to those in the industry, and with the price moving as much as it has it is bringing lower grade deposits into the economic fold.

Cobalt prices jumped from $US60,000 per tonne in 2017 to nearly $US81,000 currently.

Rafaella is raising cash to complete the acquisitions and undertake exploration at both projects.

The IPO opens this week and closes on March 23, with Rafaella’s debut slated for April 2.