The Australian owner of the company that now holds the largest mining stake in the Ring of Fire in northwestern Ontario has a controversial reputation stemming from business dealings with Indigenous people in his homeland.
Andrew Forrest, a billionaire mining mogul and philanthropist, owns Wyloo Metals. In April, Wyloo took over Noront Resources’ stake in the Ring of Fire region in a $600-million deal that took the previously publicly traded Noront private.
The deal came as the province seeks to mine the region’s rich mineral deposits as part of its $3.5-billion critical minerals strategy amid a boom in electric vehicle (EV) battery production.
The region holds key nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposits in the James Bay lowlands, about 500 kilometres from Thunder Bay.
First Nations in the region remain divided over if and how development should happen.