Miners race for nickel as electric car revolution looms – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – September 12, 2021)

https://www.ft.com/

Western groups compete for assets to secure supplies of key battery metal

In remote northern Ontario, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest railway or paved road, the world’s largest mining group and an Australian metals tycoon are in a bidding war for a deposit containing millions of tonnes of nickel.

The battle between BHP and Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals for the asset’s owner Noront Resources comes as miners race to meet surging demand for battery metals as electric vehicles go mainstream.

Read more

What’s to become of Sault Ste. Marie’s ferrochrome plant? Wait for the bidding war to settle, says Noront CEO – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 10, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Chromite production plans, smelter plan in limbo until new ownership takes control of Noront’s Ring of Fire metal assets

Ask Alan Coutts what’s to become of a proposed ferrochrome processing plant for Sault Ste. Marie and the president of Noront Resources gives a straightaway answer.

“That will ultimately be a question that will be answered by the new owners.” Noront selected Sault Ste. Marie in 2019 is its preferred location for a high-tech smelting operation, settling on a brownfield site at Algoma Steel.

Read more

BHP inks exploration deal with Gates and Bezos-backed Kobold – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – September 8, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

BHP (ASX, LON, NYSE: BHP) has struck a deal to use artificial intelligence tools developed by KoBold Metals, a start-up backed by a coalition of billionaires including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, to look for critical materials used in electric vehicles (EVs) and clean energy.

The world’s largest miner and the Silicon Valley-based tech firm will jointly fund and operate exploration using data processing technology to help predict the location of metals such as cobalt, nickel and copper, starting in Western Australia.

Read more

NEWS RELEASE: Wyloo Submits Arrangement Agreement to Noront (Source: Wyloo Metals – September 6, 2021)

PERTH, Australia, Sept. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd (“Wyloo Metals”) confirms it submitted an Arrangement Agreement to the Board of Noront Resources Ltd (TSXV:NOT) (“Noront”) for consideration on September 3, 2021. In submitting the agreement, Wyloo Metals calls upon the Noront Board to act in the best interest of shareholders and progress the formalization of Wyloo Metals’ superior proposal in line with its fiduciary obligations.

Wyloo Metals restricted on due diligence

Wyloo Metals received a revised confidentiality agreement from the Noront Board on August 31, 2021. Wyloo Metals was surprised to learn that the removal of the standstill provision required the consent of BHP Western Mining Resources International Pty Ltd. (“BHP”).

Read more

Noront stands its ground against Wyloo over Ring of Fire assets – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 3, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper project is the prize in looming bidding war between two Australian mining heavyweights

Alan Coutts is ignoring the posturing from Wyloo Metals. The president-CEO of Noront Resources said he’s more keenly interested in receiving legitimate bids to secure the best deal for shareholders.

“It’s one thing to put out a press release, it’s another to table a formal binding offer.”

Read more

NEWS RELEASE: Noront Responds to Wyloo’s Non-binding Indication of Interest (August 31, 2021)

TORONTO, Aug. 31, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront” or the “Company”) (TSXV: NOT) acknowledges receipt on August 30, 2021 of a non-binding letter from Wyloo Metals (“Wyloo”). The letter describes Wyloo’s interest in potentially acquiring all of the common shares of Noront that Wyloo does not currently own, subject to a number of conditions, including due diligence, and negotiating and executing a definitive arrangement agreement.

Responding to the Wyloo Proposal

Noront is party to a July 27, 2021 support agreement with BHP Western Mining Resources International Pty Ltd (“BHP”) and its parent, BHP Lonsdale Investments Pty Ltd (the “Support Agreement”), under which Noront agreed to support an offer by BHP to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Noront that BHP does not already own (the “BHP Offer”). As is customary, the Support Agreement defines the circumstances in which Noront is permitted to engage with, and provide confidential information to, another party that makes a proposal to acquire the common shares of Noront.

Read more

OPINION: Forrest and BHP go to war over a company no one has ever heard of – by Elizabeth Knight (Brisbane Times – August 31, 2021)

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/

BHP versus Andrew Forrest was once a David and Goliath fight confined to the Pilbara. Today the battle between the two titans of iron ore, has moved to the far reaches of Northern Canada and the quarry they both seek is a nickel company no one has ever heard of.

So small and financially embattled is Noront Resources, that nine months ago it was worth just around $70 million dollars – little more than the petty cash held in the head offices of BHP and Forrest’s Fortescue.

Thanks to the bidding war between Forrest and BHP, Noront is now capitalised at $380 million and counting. Forrest lifted his offer this week to C70 cents per share – trumping BHP’s C55 cents.

Read more

Wyloo hikes bid for Ring of Fire explorer Noront Resources, trumps BHP offer – by Naill McGee (Globe and Mail – August 31, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd. has bumped up its offer for Noront Resources Ltd., trumping BHP Group Ltd.’s bid, and in a highly unusual move is proposing to keep the struggling Ring of Fire exploration company as a publicly traded entity.

Since May, Toronto-based Noront has been the subject of a takeover tussle between Australian private equity firm Wyloo and BHP, the world’s biggest mining company, which is also based in Australia.

Both are extremely well funded. BHP’s market valuation is US$165-billion. Wyloo is backed by Andrew Forrest, founder and chair of Fortescue Metals Group, and one of the richest individuals in Australia.

Read more

Wyloo Metals wants to sweep the board clean at Noront Resources – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 30, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Australian miner boosts offer to Noront shareholders as take-over battle with BHP continues

The Ring of Fire is now a hands-on project for Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest. Wyloo Metals, a subsidiary company of Forrest’s Tattrarang private investment outfit, is promising new leadership to bring the promise of the James Bay mineral belt to reality as part of its takeover bid of Noront Resources.

In its latest pitch to Noront investors, Perth-headquartered Wyloo wants to clean house at Noront and appoint Forrest as chair of a new board of directors.

While in the early stages of a bidding war with rival BHP, Wyloo issued a new acquisition offer to Noront shareholders on Aug. 30 to acquire the Toronto junior miner’s assets in the remote mineral belt 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

Read more

NEWS RELEASE: Noront Responds to Wyloo Statement and Reiterates Support of BHP Offer (Source: Noront Resources Ltd. – August 20, 2021 08:30 ET)

TORONTO, Aug. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Noront Resources Ltd. (TSXV: NOT) (“Noront” or the “Company“) is responding to the statement issued by Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd (“Wyloo”) yesterday, in order to clarify several of Wyloo’s misleading statements relating to the proposed acquisition of Noront by BHP Western Mining Resources International Pty Ltd (“BHP” or the “Offeror“), a wholly owned subsidiary of BHP Lonsdale Investments Pty Ltd (“BHP Lonsdale“). Noront reiterates its support of BHP’s offer to acquire the shares of Noront (the “Offer”) and the recommendation of the Board of Directors of Noront that shareholders tender their shares and accept the Offer.

Access to Information for Wyloo; Ability to Make a Superior Proposal

Prior to the Offer, Noront engaged fully and provided access to due diligence information to all parties that were prepared to enter into a customary confidentiality agreement typical for transactions of this nature. Wyloo was provided an opportunity to execute such a confidentiality agreement (which was consistent with the confidentiality agreement that was executed by BHP) and have access to due diligence information, and Wyloo declined to do so.

Read more

BHP’s Noront bid hits impasse as Wyloo won’t budge – by Staff (Mining.com – August 19, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

Wyloo Metals, the top shareholder of Noront Resources (TSXV: NOT), said on Thursday that it does not intend to support or tender the offer made by BHP to acquire Noront, and is considering making a “superior” offer to acquire the remaining stake in the Canadian nickel miner.

Noront is owner of the early-stage Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper deposit in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire district. It has been billed by Wyloo as the largest high-grade nickel discovery in Canada since the Voisey’s Bay nickel find in Newfoundland and Labrador, with an initial mine life of 11 years.

In late July, BHP announced its offer to buy the Noront at a price of C$0.55 per share for a total value of C$325 million, which represented a premium of 129% based on the stock’s closing price on the day before Wyloo’s proposal two months earlier.

Read more

NEWS RELEASE: Wyloo Metals does not support BHP’s offer to acquire Noront Resources (August 19, 2021)

PERTH, Australia, Aug. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd (“Wyloo Metals”) provides the following update regarding its intentions in relation to the offer by BHP Western Mining Resources International Pty Ltd (“BHP”) to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Noront Resources Ltd (TSXV:NOT) (“Noront”).

Response to BHP’s offer

Noront’s Ring of Fire land package hosts some of the most prospective mineral deposits in the world. These deposits have the potential to become Canada’s next great mineral district, supporting the production of future-facing commodities for multiple generations. Wyloo Metals continues to firmly believe in the immense potential of the Ring of Fire and therefore does not intend to support or tender its Noront shares to BHP’s offer.

Wyloo Metals was disappointed that the Noront Board did not seek to meaningfully engage or negotiate with it prior to accepting the BHP offer. Given Wyloo Metals’ cornerstone interest of approximately 37.5% (partially diluted) of Noront, the minimum mandatory tender condition for BHP’s bid is unlikely to be satisfied without Wyloo Metals’ support and a second step acquisition transaction is impossible.

Read more

BHP: Mining giant to leave London’s FTSE 100 for Sydney (BBC.com – August 17, 2021)

https://www.bbc.com/

Mining giant BHP is set to leave the FTSE 100 index after unveiling plans to scrap the dual listing of its shares in London and Sydney.

The company, part of the UK’s blue chip index since 2001, will move its main listing to Australia as part of a huge shake up announcement on Tuesday.

BHP regularly tops the list of the FTSE 100’s biggest companies, depending on fluctuations in market values. The move will see some investor funds that track the FTSE sell BHP shares.

Read more

BHP to spend $7.5-billion on Saskatchewan potash mine as it quits oil – by Andrew Willis (Globe and Mail – August 18, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The world’s largest mining company, BHP Group Ltd., signalled its future is focused on sustainable industries by committing $7.5-billion to a massive Saskatchewan potash project while exiting the oil and gas business.

On Tuesday, Melbourne, Australia-based BHP announced it is moving forward with the Jansen mine, mothballed for several years after more than $5-billion of development spending, and it will begin shipping potash in 2027. The project will create 3,500 construction jobs and permanent work for 600 employees.

BHP also announced it will spin out its energy business to Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd., creating one of the world’s largest independent oil and gas companies. BHP shareholders will receive Woodside shares that give them a 48-per-cent stake in the energy company.

Read more

OPINION: Faced with fight or flight, BHP chooses to flee – by Stephen Bartholomeusz (WA Today – August 16, 2021)

https://www.watoday.com.au/

The confirmation of speculation of an imminent sale of BHP’s petroleum business to Woodside poses a question. What’s the better course for carbon-intensive businesses, fight or flight?

Rio Tinto opted for flight and the sale of its coal mines in 2018. BHP is in the process of exiting thermal coal, with the sale of its interest in the Cerrejon mine in Colombia in June and its Mt Arthur mine in NSW and its 80 per cent interest in the BMC joint venture with Mitsui in Queensland also on the market.

An exit from petroleum – Woodside disclosed on Monday, after intense recent speculation, that it was in discussion with BHP about a potential merger that would see it acquire BHP Petroleum by issuing Woodside shares to BHP shareholders – and a successful exit from thermal coal would mean that only BHP’s dominant metallurgical coal division would remain from its most carbon-intensive assets.

Read more