Australia's Wyloo Metals made good on its intention to increase its equity ownership stake in Noront Resources.
The Perth-headquartered company is locked in a bidding war with BHP, one of the world's largest mining companies, to acquire the Toronto mineral exploration company and its untapped nickel, copper, platinum group metals and chromite property in the Ring of Fire area of Northern Ontario.
Wyloo announced Sept. 22 that it will convert a US$15 million convertible loan into common shares of Noront, thus increasing its ownership in Noront from 24.2 per cent to 37.3 per cent. The maturity date of the convertible note was Sept. 30.
Wyloo Canada Holdings Pty currently holds an aggregate of 111,815,458 common shares of Noront.
Wyloo is a mining subsidiary of Tattarang, one of Australia’s largest private investment groups. The company came aboard as Noront's largest shareholder last December.
In an insider takeover bid deemed hostile by Noront, Wyloo is offering Noront shareholders 70 cents per share, a deal it calls “superior” to that of its rival bidder, BHP, which is offering 55 cents per share.
To date, Noront's board of directors are recommended that its shareholders support the BHP offer to buy.
Both Wyloo and BHP are competing to acquire Noront's exploration assets, particularly Eagle's Nest nickel property, located in the Ring of Fire area in the James Bay region, 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.
The remote area is rich in nickel, copper and platinum group metals, all significant ingredients needed to manufacture batteries for the electric vehicle market. The region of great interest to major mining companies looking to secure global sources of supply in the so-called 'green metals' marketplace.