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ArcelorMittal, Nunavut Iron team up for successful Baffinland bid

Canadian Mining Journal reports: Almost four months have passed since Toronto-based Nunavut Iron Ore first proposed a takeover of Baffinland Iron Mines, owner of the Mary River iron ore project 160 km south of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). Nunavut Iron offered US$0.08 per share, an offer that had the Baffinland board saying “no thanks.”

Instead, Baffinland went searching for another company that would make a better offer. The white knight turned out to be ArcelorMittal. The French company upped the ante to $C1.10 per Baffinland share in mid-November 2010. Such a deal made sense because ArcelorMittal Mines Canada is the owner and operator of the Mount-Wright mine and Fire Lake seasonal mine, both in northern Quebec.

Nunavut Iron upped its offer. ArcelorMittal amended tis offer. And so things went back and forth until Jan. 14, 2011, when the two suitors joined forces, offering an increased price of C$1.50 per common share for 100% of the outstanding common shares of Baffinland Iron.

Finally, on Jan. 17, the Baffinland board recommended that shareholders accept the joint offer.

The Mary River iron ore project is at the advanced exploration stage. The plan is to develop a 3-million-t/y high-grade mine that will begin operation in 2014. The property has proven and probable reserves of 365 million tonnes grading more than 64% Fe.

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