BHP to Extend Battery Metals Lead With Its Noront Bid

This article first appeared on the BNEF mobile app and the Bloomberg Terminal.

  • BHP has made a counter bid for Noront Resources in Canada
  • BHP aims to become a key supplier of nickel sulfate

BHP has made an all-cash offer to acquire Noront Resources for $351 million. This represents a 75% premium on an offer made in May by Wyloo, a metals company owned by Andrew Forrest.

Noront Resources is a Canadian-based mining company with 100% ownership of Eagle’s Nest. Eagle’s Nest is high-grade, nickel, copper and platinum group element deposit in Canada’s Ring of Fire region. BHP currently owns 3.7% of Norent Resources, while Wyloo owns 37% of the company. BHP requires more than half of the Noront common shares outstanding, excluding its own shares, for deal approval.

BHP’s Kwinana refinery, in Western Australia, produced 37,600t of nickel in 1H 2021. Its nickel sulfate refinery is expected to start production in September 2021.

BHP is positioning its portfolio to become a key supplier of nickel sulfate for EV batteries. Were the Norent acquisition to proceed, then it would expand BHP’s supply capacity after entering into an agreement with Tesla to supply battery-grade nickel for its EV batteries earlier this month.

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