A little over a year ago, Melbourne-based BHP Group Ltd., the world’s largest miner, bowed out of the highly publicized bidding war with Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals Pty. Ltd. for a nickel project in Ontario’s Ring of Fire region.
The tug of war between the two Australian miners over a Canadian asset included multiple bids over almost half a year before Wyloo’s $616.9-million bid in December 2021 led to the takeover of Noront Resources Ltd. — and with it the much talked about Eagle’s Nest project in northern Ontario.
Losing out to Wyloo, however, didn’t discourage BHP on planting more flags in Canada. The company has made a series of alternative investments since bowing out of the Noront auction that haven’t received as much attention, but suggests that BHP may be open to building a battery metals empire in Canada.
“Mergers and acquisition is one lever for growth but not the only lever for growth for us at all,” Rag Udd, BHP’s president of minerals for the Americas, said after the company reported its latest quarterly financials on Feb. 21. “We see Canada as a highly prospective and desirable location to actually making investments,” he added.
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