Australian private-equity firm targets acquisition of Ring of Fire explorer Noront – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 26, 2021)

Australian private-equity firm Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd. says it intends to acquire Canadian Ring of Fire exploration company Noront Resources Ltd. for $133-million.

The company made its unsolicited approach as Toronto-based Noront runs low on cash, and after years of toiling without success to get its chromite and nickel minerals projects off the ground in the Ring of Fire mining district.

While Noront has long promoted the swampy remote region of Northern Ontario as holding a treasure trove of strategic metals, it hasn’t put any mines into production.

The potential acquisition of Noront also comes as the price of steel trades near a record-high. Several of Noront’s projects are tied to the steel industry.

Wyloo Metals, a subsidiary of Perth-based investment holding company Tattarang, is owned by the Forrest family, one of the wealthiest clans in Australia. Mining veteran Andrew Forrest, who alone is worth more than US$20-billion according to Forbes, oversees the holding company. Mr. Forrest is also chair of Australian iron ore giant Fortescue Metals Group.

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