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Australians aim to take a bigger chunk of the Ring of Fire

Wyloo Metals to increase its stake in Noront Resources by converting debt loan into shares
Noront geologist 2018
(Noront Resources photo)

Wyloo Metals is prepared to boost its ownership in the Ring of Fire, as expected. 

The Perth-headquartered company, which is in the midst of an all-cash take-over bid of Noront Resources, confirmed on July 23 that it plans to convert a US$15 million convertible loan into common shares of Noront, thus increasing its majority stake in the Toronto junior miner from 24.4 per cent to 37.5 per cent.

That was part of the deal when Wyloo initially came aboard to replace Resource Capital Fund V L.P. last December.

Wyloo is a subsidiary of Tattarang, one of Australia’s largest private investment groups led by mining magnate Andrew Forrest.

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With an eye on securing a global supply of metals used to make electric vehicle batteries, Wyloo has settled on Noront and its high-grade Eagle's Nest deposit in the Ring of Fire mineral belt, 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, up in the James Bay region.

They regard Eagle's Nest as one of the best undeveloped nickel sulphide deposits in the world. It's tentatively slated to start production in mid-2026, if the north-south access road begins construction next year.

Wyloo, a current holder of 111,815,458 of common shares of Noront, would acquire an additional 94,274,994 common shares upon conversion of the loan.

The loan's maturity date is Sept. 30. Wyloo confirmed on July 23 that it intends convert the loan into common shares of Noront rather than seek payment.

Wyloo Canada also holds warrants to acquire 1,774,664 common shares of Noront.

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Despite all the media attention, Noront contends Wyloo hasn't made a formal offer.

And because Wyloo is considered an "insider," as a Noront shareholder, they're required Ontario securities laws to get an independent evaluation of Noront, now underway. That will be completed later this week on July 30.

A special committee of independent directors will assess the Wyloo offer and make a recommendation to Noront shareholders to accept or reject Wyloo's bid. The starts the clock ticking with shareholders having 105 days to make a decision.