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Tender shares to BHP, Noront Resources tells shareholders

Lacking Wyloo counteroffer, deal remains best option for Ring of Fire assets
Noront camp
Noront Resources' Esker Camp in the James Bay lowlands

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.

Al Coutts, Noront’s CEO, implored shareholders to take action in an Oct. 28 news release.

Since BHP bumped up its offer more than a week ago, Wyloo has not responded with a counteroffer and there’s no indication one is coming, Coutts noted.

That means the BHP offer is the only one available to shareholders at this time.

“The BHP offer provides both certainty and a compelling premium,” Coutts said.

“We encourage Noront shareholders to tender their shares to the BHP offer well in advance of the Nov. 9 deadline.”

At stake is Noront’s high-grade Eagle’s Nest property, a deposit boasting nickel, copper, platinum, and palladium, as well as the chromite deposits Blackbird, Black Thor and Big Daddy, all located in the James Bay lowlands, about 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

BHP made its own call to action, echoing Coutts’ sentiments in a separate news release.

“Our higher all-cash offer is the only offer on the table. There is no guarantee any other offer will be forthcoming following the expiration of our offer,” Johan van Jaarsveld, BHP’s chief development officer, said in the release.

“Shareholders who choose not to tender to BHP’s offer today should consider the significant risks of remaining invested in Noront, which include complex project execution, development of remote infrastructure, and substantial funding requirements that are likely to result in material dilution for Noront shareholders.

“We remind shareholders that Noront was trading at C$0.24 before any offers were made. We urge shareholders to tender well ahead of the deadline of Nov. 9, 2021 to ensure the offer succeeds.”