Wyloo said the metals hub would be developed in consultation with regional stakeholders and First Nations communities.
The private company said it would target awarding C$100 million worth of contracts to First Nations businesses; pledged to help First Nations businesses with access to capital and other support to create other employment and economic opportunities; and proposed the development of a training and employment centre for northern Ontario and First Nations communities.
It also says it will build Eagle’s Nest – Noront’s flagship nickel-copper-PGE asset – as a net zero emissions mine.
In a release, Luca Giacovazzi, head of Wyloo Metals, said the company’s commitments reinforce its belief in Canada’s long-term potential to be a globally relevant producer of reliable and responsibly sourced battery metals.
“These commitments, alongside our recent offer for Noront Resources, reflect Wyloo Metals’ strategy of long-term investment into Canada,” Mr. Giacovazzi said. “Canada has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish itself as a major player in the new economy. Our proposed future metals hub provides the cornerstone for a globally relevant battery material supply chain in Canada, while creating economic opportunities for local communities to thrive.”
Wyloo currently holds a 23% stake in Noront, a $15 million convertible loan maturing at the end of September, and a 1% NSR royalty on Eagles Nest, acquired from Resource Capital Funds in December. Its proposed offer of C$133 million for the remaining Noront shares represents a 31% premium, based on the junior’s trading price as of May 21.
Wyloo is owned by Tattarang, a holding company for Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest’s family interests.
Noront Resources noted in a press release last week that Wyloo had not yet made an official offer, and that it would respond to a bid when one is presented. It has moved to implement a shareholders’ rights plan to protect it against creeping bids and to ensure all shareholders are treated fairly. The plan, with an effective date of May 26, will be voted on at Noront’s next shareholders’ meeting scheduled for June 9.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)