Wyloo says offer for Mincor is ‘best and final’ after nickel miner withdraws guidance

The Kambalda nickel concentrator at dawn. Credit: BHP

Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals is sticking to its previous offer to buy Australian nickel explorer Mincor Resources (ASX: MCR) even after its target disclosed issues delivering nickel product as specified under its offtake agreement with BHP (NYSE: BHP; LSE: BHP; ASX: BHP).

Mincor’s nickel operations are centred on the Kambalda district of Western Australia. Its Kambalda nickel operations currently comprise the flagship Cassini nickel mine, a greenfields discovery located to the south, and the northern operations, which comprise the Long and Otter Juan/Durkin North mines.

Mincor combines ore from both its northern and southern operations to deliver a blended product to BHP’s nearby Kambalda nickel concentrator. This ore is subject to product specification requirements, including a nickel-to-arsenic ratio.

Last week, Mincor revealed that during the ramp-up period, it has been delivering off-specification products to BHP, and therefore sought to amend the offtake terms to provide flexibility with respect to product requirements so that it can make 100% delivery to BHP. However, this proposal was rejected by BHP.

As a result, Mincor decided to withdraw its guidance, citing the “lack of certainty regarding future acceptance of any off-specification product and the incomplete status of potential solutions.”

In an update on Monday, the privately held Wyloo said that due to these developments, it has determined that the current offer price of $1.40 per share is “best and final and will not be increased, in the absence of a competing proposal.”

At the time of Wyloo’s bid, the offer represented a 35% premium on the previous closing price and values the company at A$760 million on a fully diluted basis.