Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo succeeds with bid for Canadian nickel developer Noront Resources

Australian resources firm Wyloo Metals has emerged as the successful bidder in a tug of war with BHP for Canada’s Noront Resources, in a deal valuing the nickel miner at US$478.11 million.

The company owned by Australian billionaire businessman Andrew Forrest had been locked in the takeover battle with BHP since the summer as the companies jockey to secure supplies of nickel – a key metal used in the batteries of electric vehicles.

However, the world’s largest mining company said on Tuesday it would not match Noront’s latest C$1.10 per share offer, after determining no ‘adequate long-term value’ could be gained by increasing its 0.75 per share bid.

Wyloo – Noront’s largest shareholder – will provide Noront with a loan of $29.4 million to help cover the $17.8 million termination fee it owes BHP, the Canadian company said in its statement.

The prize for Wyloo is the highly sought after Eagle’s Nest nickel asset in Ontario’s so-called Ring of Fire. Eagle’s Nest is a high-grade nickel deposit with copper and palladium.

“We are under no misconceptions that this will be an overnight success,” said Forrest in a statement from Wyloo.

“The journey to realise the full potential of the Ring of Fire will require patience, determination and working hand-in-hand with First Nations, federal and provincial governments, and regional stakeholders,” he added.