Thunder Bay

Wyloo Metals pledges to work with First Nations businesses, be zero-emission mine in Ring of Fire

An Australian company which signalled its intent to start a hostile takeover of Noront Resources, says it has a plan on how it wants to operate a mine in the Ring of Fire.

Australian company initiates hostile takeover of Noront Resources

An aerial view of the Esker Camp in the Ring of Fire. Wyloo Metals, which has proposed a hostile takeover of Noront Resources, which owns the Esker Camp and associated mineral deposits, made public its plans for the area. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

An Australian company which signalled its intent to start a hostile takeover of Noront Resources, says it has a plan on how it wants to operate a mine in the Ring of Fire.

Wyloo Metals announced last week its intent to acquire a controlling interest in Noront Resources, the largest exploration company in the Ring of Fire area, in the James Bay lowlands.

"We started spending a lot of time looking at things like electric vehicles and batteries, and that sort of led us down the path of nickel," said Luca Giacovazzi, the head of Wyloo Metals.

"Our interest in Noront is really centred around Eagle's Nest. It's centred around high grade nickel sulphides and the role that nickel plays in batteries," Giacovazzi said.

Giacovazzi said the deposit is thousands of kilometres away from Wyloo's main operations in western Australia, but the opportunity to develop the area in Canada is attractive to the company.

"A big thing for us, of course, is de-carbonizing the economy is a big [priority] for us, and so we started spending a lot of time looking at things like electric vehicles and batteries, and that sort of led us down the path of nickel."

Wyloo said it had four priorities when developing the Ring of Fire, which include building Eagle's Nest as a zero-emission mine, and to look at battery production in Ontario.

The company said it would commit $25 million in a feasibility study to look into building battery material in Ontario. The plan could create a battery supply chain, while also continuing to work on building a ferrochrome processing plant, which was originally proposed by Noront to be built in Sault Ste. Marie.

Wyloo would also target $100 million in contracts with First Nations businesses, creating jobs in remote communities, while also committing to create training for Indigenous people, as well as people from northern Ontario.

"Our long term commitment to making material investments into Canada, and go through the journey of hopefully developing Eagle's Nest," Giacovazzi said. 

"If you look through all the commitments today, they're done deliberately."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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