Wyloo’s bid for Canadian nickel-copper miner Noront shows scramble for battery metals is accelerating – by Jeff Lewis (Globe and Mail/Reuters – June 3, 2021)


He compared northern Ontario to Western Australia’s Pilbara region, rich
in iron ore and home to miners like BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Forrest’s
Fortescue Metals Group.“I think if you went to the Pilbara 20 years ago
you would never think that you would have major mining companies and the
infrastructure that exists there today,” he said.

A fight over Canadian nickel-copper miner Noront Resources shows the scramble for battery metals is accelerating, with global miners racing to secure supply ahead of an expected surge in demand from electric vehicles.

Wyloo Metals, a unit of Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s Tattarang investment group, plans an unsolicited bid for the remaining shares of the Canadian miner valuing Noront at $133-million, or $0.315 per share. Wyloo is Noront’s top shareholder, with a 23 per cent stake as of December.

Noront adopted a poison pill and said it has yet to receive a formal offer. The company declined further comment.

At stake is the future of Noront’s early-stage Eagle’s Nest deposit, billed by Wyloo as the largest high-grade nickel discovery in Canada since the Voisey’s Bay nickel find in the eastern province of Newfoundland and Labrador, with an initial mine life of 11 years.

The bid signals renewed interest in Canada’s largely dormant Ring of Fire, a cluster of minerals that Canadian leaders frequently compare to the country’s oil sands for their untapped economic potential.

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