Connect with us

News

Australia’s Wyloo bid for Canada’s Noront shows battery metal scramble

Published

 on

A fight over Canadian nickel-copper miner Noront Resources shows the scramble for battery metals is accelerating, with global miners racing to secure supply ahead of an expected surge in demand from electric vehicles.

Wyloo Metals, a unit of Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s Tattarang investment group, plans an unsolicited bid for the remaining shares of the Canadian miner valuing Noront at C$133 million ($110 million), or C$0.315 per share. Wyloo is Noront’s top shareholder, with a 23% stake as of December.

Noront adopted a poison pill and said it has yet to receive a formal offer. The company declined further comment.

At stake is the future of Noront’s early-stage Eagle’s Nest deposit, billed by Wyloo as the largest high-grade nickel discovery in Canada since the Voisey’s Bay nickel find in the eastern province of Newfoundland and Labrador, with an initial mine life of 11 years.

The bid signals renewed interest in Canada‘s largely dormant Ring of Fire, a cluster of minerals that Canadian leaders frequently compare to the country’s oil sands for their untapped economic potential.

“It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set Canada up as a responsible, reliable producer of battery-grade nickel,” said Wyloo head Luca Giacovazzi.

Development of the Ring of Fire, about 1,000 miles north of Toronto, has so far fallen short of lofty expectations.

One of the most advanced projects, a chromite mine, was put on ice in 2013 due to risks associated with developing basic infrastracture, including roads and power lines.

Plans for new access roads are underway but remain years from development, said John Mason, mining project manager for the economic development agency in Thunder Bay, the region’s most populous municipality.

Wyloo has said it aims to accelerate development in the region.

Ontario is geographically close to U.S. automakers in Michigan and Ohio, and General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Stellantis NV have all announced plans to make electric vehicles at factories in the province.

Canada is expected to benefit from a U.S. drive to secure EV minerals from ally countries.

Nickel makes batteries energy-dense so cars can run farther on a single charge. Demand is forecast to double by 2030, driven by use in electric vehicles.

Wyloo’s planned bid for Noront follows its C$25 million joint-venture agreement with Canada‘s Orford Mining covering the West Raglan nickel project in Nunavik, Quebec.

Wyloo also said it aims to strengthen battery metal supply chains in Canada and study potential for a ferrochrome plant in Ontario while targeting C$100 million in contract awards to local First Nations.

Wyloo head Giacovazzi told Reuters those commitments reflect a long-term approach to developing battery-grade nickel in Canada for the burgeoning EV market.

He compared northern Ontario to Western Australia’s Pilbara region, rich in iron ore and home to miners like BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group.

“I think if you went to the Pilbara 20 years ago you would never think that you would have major mining companies and the infrastructure that exists there today,” he said.

 

(Reporting by Jeff Lewis; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Continue Reading

News

Hundreds more unmarked graves found at erstwhile Saskatchewan residential school

Published

 on

An indigenous group in Saskatchewan on Thursday said it had found the unmarked graves of an estimated 751 people at a now-defunct Catholic residential school, just weeks after a similar, smaller discovery rocked the country.

The latest discovery, the biggest to date, is a grim reminder of the years of abuse and discrimination indigenous communities have suffered in Canada even as they continue to fight for justice and better living conditions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “terribly saddened” by the discovery at Marieval Indian Residential School about 87 miles (140 km) from the provincial capital Regina. He told indigenous people that “the hurt and the trauma that you feel is Canada’s responsibility to bear.”

It is not clear how many of the remains detected belong to children, Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme told reporters, adding that oral stories mentioned adults being buried at the site.

Delorme later told Reuters some of the graves belong to non-indigenous people who may have belonged to the church. He said the First Nation hopes to find the gravestones that once marked these graves, after which they may involve police.

Delorme said the church that ran the school removed the headstones.

“We didn’t remove the headstones. Removing headstones is a crime in this country. We are treating this like a crime scene,” he said.

The residential school system, which operated between 1831 and 1996, removed about 150,000 indigenous children from their families and brought them to Christian residential schools, mostly Catholic, run on behalf of the federal government.

“Canada will be known as a nation who tried to exterminate the First Nations,” said Bobby Cameron, Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. “This is just the beginning.”

OLD WOUNDS

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which published a report that found the residential school system amounted to cultural genocide, has said a cemetery was left on the Marieval site after the school building was demolished.

The local Catholic archdiocese gave Cowessess First Nation C$70,000 ($56,813) in 2019 to help restore the site and identify unmarked graves, said spokesperson Eric Gurash. He said the archdiocese gave Cowessess all its death records for the period Catholic parties were running the school.

In a letter to Delorme on Thursday, Archbishop Don Bolen reiterated an earlier apology for the “failures and sins of Church leaders and staff” and pledged to help identify the remains.

Heather Bear, who went to Marieval as a day student in the 1970s and is also vice-chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, recalled a small cemetery at the school but not of the size revealed on Thursday.

“You just didn’t want to be walking around alone in (the school),” she recalled. There was a “sadness that moves. And I think every residential school has that sadness looming.”

The Cowessess First Nation began a ground-penetrating radar search on June 2, after the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia outraged the country. Radar at Marieval found 751 “hits” as of Wednesday with a 10% margin of error, meaning at least 600 graves on the site.

The Kamloops discovery reopened old wounds in Canada about the lack of information and accountability around the residential school system, which forcibly separated indigenous children from their families and subjected them to malnutrition and physical and sexual abuse.

Pope Francis said in early June that he was pained by the Kamloops revelation and called for respect for the rights and cultures of native peoples. But he stopped short of the direct apology some Canadians had demanded.

Thursday was a difficult day, Delorme told Reuters. But he wants his young children to know “we will get the reconciliation one day with action like today.”

($1 = 1.2321 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto and Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Alistair Bell, Grant McCool and Daniel Wallis)

Continue Reading

News

Teamsters votes to fund and support Amazon workers

Published

 on

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a labor union in the United States and Canada, said on Thursday it has voted to formalize a resolution to support and fund employees of Amazon.com Inc in their unionization efforts.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Continue Reading

News

Citigroup names new sales head for Treasury and Trade Solutions unit

Published

 on

Citigroup Inc has named Steve Elms as the new sales head for the bank’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) unit effective immediately, according to an internal memo shared by a company spokesperson.

Elms, who will oversee the management of the global sales teams, has been involved with the bank’s TTS division for over 10 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

TTS is a division of the bank’s Institutional Clients group. The segment offers cash management and trade services and finance to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations around the world.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and David Henry in New York; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

Continue Reading

Trending