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Andrew Forrest's Wyloo takes stake in Canadian nickel play

Andrew Forrest's Wyloo Metals has agreed to acquire a 22.65% stake in Canada’s Noront Resources by making a cornerstone investment that could help accelerate the development of northern Ontario’s so-called ‘Ring of Fire’ (RoF) nickel-chromite mining camp.
Andrew Forrest's Wyloo takes stake in Canadian nickel play Andrew Forrest's Wyloo takes stake in Canadian nickel play Andrew Forrest's Wyloo takes stake in Canadian nickel play Andrew Forrest's Wyloo takes stake in Canadian nickel play Andrew Forrest's Wyloo takes stake in Canadian nickel play

Exploration at Noront's Eagle's Nest nickel-copper-platinum-palladium project in Ontario, Canada

Staff reporter

Wyloo, a subsidiary of Tattarang, Forrest's private investment vehicle, will acquire Resource Capital Funds' (RCF) and affiliates' interest for US$11.5 million, comprising about 95 million Noront shares and 1.78 million warrants, acquisition of a $15 million convertible loan maturing September 30, 2021, and a 1% net smelter return royalty over Noront's Eagle's Nest nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposit, the first project expected to get off the ground in the emerging mining camp.

On a fully diluted basis, Wyloo will own about 37.3% of Noront.

As part of the proposed transaction, Noront will grant to Wyloo the same investor rights currently held by RCF, including pre-emptive rights and rights to two board nominees.

The deal is Wyloo's second Canadian investment and follows several similar strategic investments aimed at supporting its investment thesis, which is to aid the discovery and development of critical commodities required to decarbonise the global economy.

Noront is the largest landholder in the RoF with Eagle's Nest leading the list of advanced projects in the portfolio, followed by world-class chromite deposits including Blackbird, Black Thor and Big Daddy. Eagle's Nest is the largest high-grade nickel discovery in Canada since Voisey's Bay and is expected to have an initial mine life of 11 years, with the potential for a further nine years.

Development of the remote RoF region will require the permitting and construction of a 300km all-season road, using a north-south corridor from the RoF to the provincial highway and rail systems.

Wyloo head Luca Giacovazzi said the investment reflected a long-term and collaborative strategy to support the discovery and development of the next generation of mines required to meet the growing demand of critical materials needed to power the decarbonisation of the global economy.

Noront's Toronto-listed shares jumped more than 21% on Monday to 20c in Toronto, capitalising it at $83.5 million.

Wyloo also has stakes in Western Australian nickel developers Mincor Resources, Poseidon Nickel and Panoramic Resources, uranium developer Vimy Resources, explorer Impact Minerals and an interest in investment firm Queen's Road Capital.