(Updates with background; adds details on the offer)
Dec 14 (Reuters) – Canadian miner Noront Resources Ltd said on Tuesday it plans to negotiate directly with Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest's Wyloo Metals on the company's raised buyout offer.
Wyloo, Noront's top shareholder, increased its offer to C$1.10 a share on Monday, valuing the miner at C$616.9 million ($481.28 million), 57% higher than its prior bid and outmatching BHP Group's C$0.75 per-share offer.
The move by Wyloo is the latest twist in the bidding war between the two miners from Australia for the supply of a key battery metal used in electric vehicles.
Noront on Tuesday did not provide any update whether its board is changing its recommendation for the BHP's offer, but added that the company is reviewing Wyloo's proposal.
BHP on Monday also ended talks with Wyloo regarding its support for the takeover of Noront as the two parties were unable to reach an agreement.
At the heart of the tussle is Noront's Eagle Nest nickel asset in Canada's so-called Ring of Fire, a high-grade deposit of the metal, as well as copper and palladium.
($1 = 1.2818 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)