Noront Resources and Wyloo Metals enter partnership
Canadian mining company Noront Resources has entered into an agreement with its new cornerstone security holder Wyloo Metals to acquire the beneficial equity and debt interests previously held by Resource Capital Fund V.
Wyloo Metals is the mining division of Tattarang, one of Austalia’s largest private investment groups. A long-term collaborator and investor supporting the discovery and development of the next generation of mines, Wyloo Metals is led by a multidisciplinary team of geologists engineers and financial professionals, according to a Noront statement.
Wyloo works closely with its stakeholders to accelerate projects through the development cycle while meeting the highest international environmental, social and governance standards, the statement adds.
“We are delighted that Wyloo Metals has chosen to acquire a cornerstone interest in Noront,” says Noront President and CEO Alan Coutts. “It’s exciting to partner with a company whose values parallel our own company principles. Wyloo makes long-term strategic investments in companies that mine responsibly, and that’s a philosophy that aligns very well with the approach Noront is taking as we develop the Ring of Fire in an environmentally responsible manner in collaboration with our First Nation partners.”
The statement explains that pursuant to a purchase agreement between Wyloo Metals and Resource Capital Fund V and Resource Capital Annex Fund V (collectively known as RCF), the parties have entered into an agreement to purchase all of RCF’s interests in Noront.
This includes its equity interest, which represents approximately 22.5 percent of Noront’s issued and outstanding common shares, a £11.18 million convertible debenture and its 1.0 percent NSR on Noront’s Eagle’s Nest deposit.
As a result of this third-party transaction, Wyloo Metals will become a control person of Noront and will have the right to nominate two members to Noront’s Board of Directors, one of which must be independent of Wyloo Metals, the statement adds.
Head of Wyloo Metals, Luca Giacovazzi, says that the partnership with Noront presents a unique opportunity to join forces with a proven management team in the development of the Eagle’s Nest deposit and the continued exploration of the world-class Ring of Fire region.
“This investment reflects 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,” Giacovazzi concludes.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.