UPDATE 1-Wyloo raises offer for nickel miner Noront after talks end with BHP

* Wyloo raises offer to C$1.10 a share, 47% higher than BHP's

* For now, Noront's board recommends BHP's offer

* Wyloo is Noront's largest shareholder with 37.2% stake (Rewrites with Wyloo's improved offer)

Dec 13 (Reuters) – Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest's Wyloo Metals on Monday raised its offer for Canadian nickel producer Noront Resources Ltd shortly after failing to come to an agreement to support a rival bid by BHP Group .

Wyloo, Noront's top shareholder, increased its offer to C$1.10 a share, valuing the Canadian miner at C$616.9 million ($485.25 million), 57% higher than its prior bid and outmatching BHP'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.

With a stake of 37.2% in Noront, Wyloo said it does not intend on supporting any other offer and that "a competing take-over bid will be unlikely to meet any minimum tender condition."

For now, BHP's offer has the support of the Noront board and requires minimum acceptances of 50%, it said.

Following months of competing bids, Wyloo had been discussing about supporting the offer by BHP, the world's largest listed miner.

At the heart of the tussle was 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.

Noront and BHP did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wyloo's sweetened offer.

($1 = 1.2713 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta and Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Diane Craft 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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