‘Confusing, convoluted mess’: Ring of Fire set for speedy development under new owner, but challenges loom – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – January 14, 2022)


Wyloo plans to build nickel mine in next five years, stoking renewed debate about reconciliation with Indigenous peoples

In the last days of December, Australia’s Wyloo Metals Ltd. offered $617 million in cash to buy Noront Resources Ltd., ending a bidding war with fellow Australian mining giant BHP Group, and emerging as the presumptive new owner of the collection of mineral claims in Ontario’s James Bay Lowlands known as the Ring of Fire.

The deal, expected to close in the next few months, leads to at least one major question: What happens next in the Ring of Fire? Cut off from the rest of Ontario, the project would require more than $1 billion of taxpayer investment in roads and infrastructure.

Against this backdrop, Wyloo Metals head Luca Giacovazzi has said that the Ring of Fire is one of the most prospective mineral belts in the world and that he’s laser-focused on building a nickel mine there, within the next five years, which could help feed raw materials for an electric vehicle battery supply chain in Canada.

“It’s almost like you’re handed the perfect deposit,” Giacovazzi told the Financial Post, from his home in Perth. “The best way to think of it is, in our neck of the woods, in western Australia, [this] would have been mined out ten years ago. It would have started mining ten years ago and it would have been at the end of its mine life by now — that’s how high quality the ore body is.”

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