Nebraska’s Elk Creek Critical Minerals Mine Project to be Highlighted in a U.S. Senate Committee Hearing
NioCorp to Testify Before the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee on its Critical Minerals Project and on the Economic and National Security Implications of the Superalloy Metals It Will Produce
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (July 11, 2018) – NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the "Company”) (TSX: NB, OTCQX: NIOBF, FSE: BR3) is pleased to announce that it has agreed to testify on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (the “Committee”) on its Elk Creek, Nebraska Critical Minerals Mine (the “Project”) and on the economic and national security implications of the three superalloy metals it plans to produce.
The hearing, led by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Committee Chair, and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Committee Ranking Member, will examine the Department of the Interior’s final list of critical minerals for 2018 and “opportunities to strengthen the United States’ mineral security.” Scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern, the hearing will be broadcast live over the internet on the Committee’s webcast page: https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/live-webcast A video replay also will be available for viewing after the hearing concludes. Full details on the hearing from the Committee can be seen here: https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/7/full-committee-hearing-to-examine-the-department-of-the-interior-s-final-list-of-critical-minerals.
NioCorp was asked by the Committee to brief Senators on the Elk Creek Project and on the multiple commercial and national defense uses of the three superalloy metals – Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium – it intends to produce. All three elements were recently designated as “Critical Minerals” by the U.S. Government as part of the process launched by White House Executive Order on December 20, 2017.
NioCorp was also asked to brief the Committee on how it has been able to shrink the expected environmental footprint of the project, which in turn has reduced the number of federal permits the project requires and may speed the Project’s ability to bring commercial products to market.
The Company also will testify to the economic and strategic implications of the Project’s ability to establish the U.S. as a producer of Niobium and Scandium for the first time in decades. The U.S. is now 100% dependent upon foreign sources for both metals. Niobium is considered to be such a critical and strategic metal that the U.S. National Defense Stockpile has purchased, and currently stores, supplies of Niobium in the event of national emergencies.
While Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium all have important uses in national defense technologies, they also play key roles in efforts to lightweight transportation systems and infrastructure elements. This helps to reduce environmental impacts, increase fuel economy, cut harmful air emissions. Scandium also is used in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, which provide high-reliability, reduced-emission electrical power to DoD, NASA, and companies such as Home Depot, Walmart, Apple, Google, and Verizon.
Testifying for NioCorp will be Jim Sims, NioCorp’s Vice President of External Affairs.
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Source: NioCorp Developments Ltd.
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NioCorp is developing a superalloy materials project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium. Niobium is used to produce superalloys as well as High Strength, Low Alloy ("HSLA") steel, which is a lighter, stronger steel used in automotive, structural, and pipeline applications. Scandium is a superalloy material that can be combined with Aluminum to make alloys with increased strength and improved corrosion resistance. Scandium also is a critical component of advanced solid oxide fuel cells. Titanium is used in various superalloys and is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics and is also used for aerospace applications, armor and medical implants.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Neither TSX nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this document. Certain statements contained in this document may constitute forward-looking statements, including but not limited to potential future production at the Elk Creek Project, anticipated products to be produced at the Elk Creek Project and their availability in commercial markets, and the future critical and strategic nature of niobium, scandium, and titanium. Such forward-looking statements are based upon NioCorp’s reasonable expectations and business plan at the date hereof, which are subject to change depending on economic, political and competitive circumstances and contingencies. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause a change in such assumptions and the actual outcomes and estimates to be materially different from those estimated or anticipated future results, achievements or position expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause NioCorp’s plans or prospects to change include risks related to the Company's ability to operate as a going concern; risks related to the Company's requirement of significant additional capital; changes in demand for and price of commodities (such as fuel and electricity) and currencies; changes in economic valuations of the Project, such as Net Present Value calculations, changes or disruptions in the securities markets; legislative, political or economic developments; the need to obtain permits and comply with laws and regulations and other regulatory requirements; the possibility that actual results of work may differ from projections/expectations or may not realize the perceived potential of NioCorp’s projects; risks of accidents, equipment breakdowns and labor disputes or other unanticipated difficulties or interruptions; the possibility of cost overruns or unanticipated expenses in development programs; operating or technical difficulties in connection with exploration, mining or development activities; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of diminishing quantities of grades of reserves and resources; and the risks involved in the exploration, development and mining business and the risks set forth in the Company’s filings with the SEC at www.sec.gov.. NioCorp disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.