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Wyloo tops BHP offer for Noront

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(Kitco News) - Wyloo Metals announced Monday it is prepared to top BHP Billiton and acquire Noront Resources' shares at a price of C$0.70 in cash per share.

In May, Wyloo made a $31.5 cent offer for Noront (TSXV: NOT). Wyloo is the investment arm of Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who former CEO of Fortescue Mining Group. The Wyloo bid was initially beat by BHP Billiton last month, and the Noront board recommended that shareholders take the BHP Billiton deal. So far Noront hasn't responded to Wyloo's new bid.

As of 1:30 p.m., ET Noront Resources is up 25% to 75 cents a share.

Noront is a Canadian-based mining company that has the largest land position in the Ring of Fire. Noront's Eagle's Nest project is a nickel, copper and platinum group element (PGE) deposit. Noront said the project is the largest high-grade nickel discovery in Canada since Voisey's Bay and the most advanced project in the Ring of Fire.

In a news release, Luca Giacovazzi, Head of Wyloo Metals, touted the Wyloo deal.

"In April this year, we were deeply concerned when the Noront Board proposed to farm out Noront's exploration projects to BHP for only Cdn$25 million. Rather than consenting to such a transaction, we decided to make an offer to acquire the Company. Our fears were justified when the Noront Board completed a deeply discounted 5% placement to BHP, giving away a strategic toehold in the Company to an obvious suitor.

Since our initial proposal, we have listened to the feedback from shareholders who, like us, believe in the future of the Ring of Fire. We believe Noront shareholders deserve the chance to decide whether to join us in rebuilding the Company, and not be pressured into selling all of their shares unless they want to."

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