UPDATE 1-BHP lifts takeover offer for Canadian nickel miner Noront to $339 mln

(Rewrites with background on deal)

Oct 20 (Reuters) – BHP Group on Wednesday topped a takeover offer for Canadian nickel miner Noront Resources by billionaire Andrew Forrest's Wyloo Metals earlier this week, as the two miners vie for the key battery metal used in electric vehicles (EVs).

The months-long takeover battle highlights the efforts miners are taking to secure supply of key battery metals ahead of an expected EV boom as the world looks to cut emissions.

BHP increased its offer to C$419.3 million ($339.10 million), or C$0.75 per share, bettering the C$0.70 per-share proposal from Wyloo that Noront backed on Monday and giving shareholders of the Canadian firm 22 days to accept.

At stake in the scramble for Noront is the Eagle's Nest nickel asset in Canada's so-called Ring of Fire, a high-grade deposit of the metal, as well as copper and palladium.

Wyloo, Noront's top shareholder, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

BHP, the world's biggest miner, said while it had Noront's backing for its improved offer, it did not require it and only needed 50% of shares to vote in favour.

Noront also did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Wyloo had lifted its offer from C$0.315 per share to top a C$0.55 proposal made by BHP in July.

($1 = 1.2365 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan and Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Subhranshu Sahu)

By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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