Skip to main content

China Photos/2008 China Photos

The battle over Freewest Resources Canada Inc . and its rich chromite deposits in Northern Ontario has ended with Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. saying it is proceeding with its takeover offer after a rival hostile bid from Noront Resources Ltd. failed to garner sufficient shareholder support.

Montreal-based Freewest said Monday that only 11.8 million, or 4.5 per cent, of its outstanding shares were tendered to the Noront bid, which expired last Friday.

U.S. iron and coal giant Cliffs' bid is to acquire Freewest for $1 per share, which values the company at about $240-million.

Story continues below advertisement

The takeover is expected to close in January after shareholders vote at a special meeting.

The fight over Freewest had Cleveland-based Cliffs against Toronto-based junior miner Noront. Both sides over the past few weeks had been engaged in a bitter war of words, with competing claims over which company is best positioned to realize the full value of the chromite deposits.

"We realized from the onset that the successful takeover of Freewest would be a challenge, but it offered significant potential value to all shareholders, thereby justifying the effort," Noront president and chief executive Wes Hanson said in a statement.

Cliffs has stated it plans to spend about $800-million (U.S.) to build a mine and facilities and produce between 400,000 and 800,000 tonnes of ferrochrome from the chromite ore at the Northern Ontario site, known as the Ring of Fire.

Ferrochrome is a key ingredient in stainless steel.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that our commenting partner Civil Comments is closing down. As such we will be implementing a new commenting partner in the coming weeks. As of December 20th, 2017 we will be shutting down commenting on all article pages across our site while we do the maintenance and updates. We understand that commenting is important to our audience and hope to have a technical solution in place January 2018.

Discussion loading… ✨