Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd (“Wyloo Metals”) has successfully completed its acquisition of Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront”) (TSXV:NOT), committing to transform the Eagle’s Nest nickel deposit into the new global standard for responsible mining practices.
The acquisition was completed following a shareholder vote to approve the plan of arrangement and a subsequent retention election, which resulted in less than 20 per cent of the common shares of Noront being subject to a retention election (1). As a result, Wyloo Metals has acquired all of the common shares of Noront that it did not already own.
Wyloo Metals CEO Luca Giacovazzi said the company was ready to deliver a new world-class battery metals producer in the province of Ontario – one that will play a significant role in meeting the rising demand for critical minerals as the world looks to decarbonize.
“Wyloo Metals was founded to ensure a successful transition to a lower carbon future by supplying the necessary critical metals to the world. Today, we take an important step in our long-term strategy to become a producer of metals needed for a cleaner future,” Mr Giacovazzi said. “We know this future can be realized by working together with our Indigenous communities and stakeholders. The Ring of Fire represents a transformative, multigenerational opportunity and we are committed to working closely with all stakeholders to create mutually beneficial industry and employment opportunities across the region.”
EAGLE’S NEST TO LEAD THE WORLD IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATIONS
As one of the largest undeveloped, high-grade nickel sulphide deposits in the world, Eagle’s Nest has the potential to transform Ontario into a leading producer of battery materials. To realize this potential, Wyloo Metals will pursue the highest standards of sustainable development, build supply chain capabilities within Ontario, invest directly into local businesses, and create training and employment pathways across northern Ontario.
Wyloo Metals intends to develop Eagle’s Nest in line with four key commitments:
1) NET ZERO: Developing Eagle’s Nest as a net zero emissions mine
We will embrace innovation by adopting the latest processes and technologies at Eagle’s Nest, to minimize our environmental impact in pursuit of our goal: producing the metals critical to a low-carbon future.
2) Committing C$25 million toward feasibility studies to investigate the potential for battery material production in Ontario
We will assess the potential to produce the raw materials to supply emerging battery markets, creating a robust critical material supply chain in Ontario, extracting as much value as possible from Canada’s critical minerals, for Canadians.
3) Targeting C$100 million in contract awards to Indigenous-led businesses
Through genuine partnership, Wyloo Metals will work hand-in-hand with Indigenous-led businesses to fully realize the economic benefits provided by the Ring of Fire development through direct contract awards, removing barriers for access to capital, and providing practical business support. Wyloo will incorporate traditional knowledge and Indigenous expertise into its operations by engaging with Indigenous communities throughout the exploration and development processes.
4) Creating and sustaining Indigenous and Northern Ontario employment opportunities
Wyloo will establish a Training and Employment Centre that provides guaranteed employment for trainees upon completion, empowering Indigenous and regional communities with access to good, long-term jobs.
In addition to targeting net zero emissions, Wyloo Metals will set a global benchmark for future mining operations through its proactive commitments to sustainable development and the highest possible standards of environmental compliance, including:
• A small footprint, underground operation with less than one square kilometre of surface disturbance;
• The return of tailings underground as paste backfill, replacing the need for tailings impoundment areas;
• Process water recycling that will minimize water use and process water discharge;
• Investigating the use of electric vehicles at site and underground, and hydrogen-fuelled haulage truck fleets;
• Investigating the development of wind power at site; and
• Investigating the use of ultramafic waste rock to capture and sequester carbon.
Wyloo Metals intends to apply these technologies alongside traditional knowledge from local communities to ensure Eagle’s Nest is a truly sustainable development.
SUPPORTING CANADA AND ONTARIO’S CRITICAL MINERALS STRATEGIES
Wyloo Metals supports the critical mineral strategies of the federal government and the province of Ontario and welcomes the emphasis on creating resilient domestic supply chains, investing in innovation, research and labour supply, and critically, building economic development opportunities with Indigenous partners. Developing the north is critical to meeting these goals, and Wyloo Metals looks forward to working with the federal and provincial government to realize these strategies.
The Ring of Fire is richly endowed with nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum group elements (PGEs), chromite, titanium and vanadium – all of which feature in Ontario’s critical minerals list. Recent geopolitical events have further highlighted the value of a secure domestic supply chain of such metals.
Wyloo Metals also looks forward to continuing to support Indigenous communities in leading the development of an infrastructure corridor that will not only facilitate mine production, but will provide communities with all season access to road transportation, power and internet infrastructure alongside other amenities such as health services, reducing the reliance on unpredictable winter roads, and reducing the frequent, carbon-intensive air freight to the north.
“Canada has a valuable opportunity to position itself as a green energy superpower for the next century and beyond. The demand for critical metals is being driven by a once-in-a-generation industrial revolution, as we transition from a carbon-based economy to electrification and low-carbon technologies,” Mr Giacovazzi said. “By investing in Ontario’s battery production capabilities, we will not only provide a secure, domestic supply of products for the emerging battery market, but also provide a source of critical metals that meet the highest environmental and social standards.”
Wyloo Metals engaged Maxit Capital LP to act as its financial advisor and McCarthy Tétrault LLP to act as its legal advisor.
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ABOUT WYLOO METALS
Wyloo Metals is the metals and mining subsidiary of Tattarang, one of Australia’s largest private investment groups. Led by a multidisciplinary team of geologists, engineers and financial professionals, Wyloo Metals manages a diverse portfolio of exploration and development projects and cornerstone interests in a number of public companies. Wyloo Metals works closely with all stakeholders to accelerate projects through the development cycle while meeting the highest international environmental, social and governance standards. See more at: www.wyloometals.com
Some of the statements in this press release may be forward looking statements or statements of future expectations based on currently available information. Such statements are naturally subject to risks and uncertainties. Factors such as the development of general economic conditions, future market conditions, unusual catastrophic loss events, changes in the capital markets and other circumstances may cause the actual events or results to be materially different from those anticipated by such statements. Wyloo Metals does not make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness or updated status of such statements. Therefore, in no case whatsoever will Wyloo Metals and its affiliate companies be liable to anyone for any decision made or action taken in connection with the information and/or statements in this press release or for any related damages.
(1) See Noront Resources Ltd. press release dated March 28, 2022.