BHP hungry for more nickel, copper (Australian Mining – November 12, 2021)

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BHP is looking at investing in additional early-stage development projects as the company aims to grow its copper and nickel portfolio.

BHP chief executive officer Mike Henry spoke at the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday, suggesting the success of its current copper and nickel projects should inspire more developments to follow.

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BHP in talks with Wyloo over acquisition of Noront’s Ring of Fire assets – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 2, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

BHP extending the initial expiry of its offer from Nov. 9 to Nov. 16

The two leading Australian bidders for Noront Resources and its Ring of Fire nickel and metal assets are discussing a “mutually beneficial arrangement” regarding the sale of the Far North junior mining company.

Currently, Wyloo Metals, a subsidiary of Tattarang, led by Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, is the largest shareholder of Noront at 37 per cent.

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BHP’s Plan to Exit Thermal Coal Is in Doubt – by Thomas Biesheuvel, Harry Brumpton and James Thornhill (Bloomberg News – November 1, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — BHP Group’s exit from thermal coal is looking less certain as record prices and shifting investor attitudes put the brakes on its planned retreat from the dirtiest fuel, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company has been planning its thermal coal exit for at least two years — BHP has already sold a stake in the Cerrejon thermal coal mine in Colombia and is nearing a deal to sell some Australian coking coal mines.

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Tender shares to BHP, Noront Resources tells shareholders – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 28, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Lacking Wyloo counteroffer, deal remains best option for Ring of Fire assets

Noront Resources is urging its shareholders to tender their shares to BHP by Nov. 5, which would give the Australian miner control over a massive undeveloped metals project in the mineral-rich Ring of Fire.

BHP put its latest offer on the table on Oct. 20, increasing its previous bid by 36 per cent and including a 7 per cent premium to that of a rival Australian suitor, Wyloo Metals, which offered $0.70 per share just two days earlier.

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Forrest v BHP may be start of green M&A fights – by James Thomson (Australian Financial Review – October 19, 2021)

https://www.afr.com/

BHP and Andrew Forrest’s battle over a small Canadian nickel hopeful isn’t going to be the last M&A fight sparked by the energy transition.

Tick. Tick. Tick. BHP has just five days to decide whether it wants to try to top Andrew Forrest’s offer for Canadian nickel hopeful Noront Resources, which won the backing of the minnow’s board on Monday night.

The smart money is on the Global Australian striking back, despite the full-court press Forrest has put on the Noront board. BHP chief executive Mike Henry is chasing future-facing commodities hard, and nickel, which is crucial to the production of batteries, is a prime target.

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BHP to expand into “tougher jurisdictions” in search of battery metals – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – October 8, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

BHP (ASX, LON, NYSE: BHP) chief executive Mike Henry said the company is ready for a strategic shift out of its geographical, advanced-economies comfort zone into “tougher jurisdictions”, as part of its plans to increase exposure to commodities such as copper and nickel, needed to power the energy transition.

Speaking at the Financial Times conference late on Thursday, the world’s largest miner’s CEO said he was confident the company could manage the risks of investing and operating in politically volatile countries.

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BHP opens Australia’s first nickel sulphate plant – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – October 1, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

BHP (ASX, LON, NYSE: BHP) said on Friday it had produced the first nickel sulphate crystals from its plant in Kwinana, outside Perth, a part of the miner’s strategy to grow its battery metals footprint to meet expected soaring demand.

Nickel is a key component for electric vehicle (EV) cathodes, and the world’s no. 1 mining company expects demand for the metal from the batteries sector alone to increase by 500% over the next decade.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”).

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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