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Critical Minerals

U.S. Government Names All 3 of NioCorp’s Planned Products as 

About Niobium

119-157 thumbNiobium (Nb) is an element which, when added to steel, makes it stronger, lighter in weight and highly resistant to corrosion.  These steels are known as High Strength, Low Alloy steels (HSLOA).  Niobium is added to steel in the form of Ferroniobium, which is a mixture of 65% niobium and 35% iron.  Ferroniobium represents over 90% of world niobium production. For many applications, such as super alloys and oil and gas pipelines steels, there are no substitutes for niobium.

Niobium Uses: Primarily used for High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steel (FeNb):

Construction & Steel Mega-Projects: 45% of FeNb Market Car - Nb Weight Savings

HSLA for lightweight structures that require additional strength and corrosion resistance

  • High strength reinforcing bars require high yield strength and weld ability
Automotive Industry: 23%
Stronger and lighter – improved fuel efficiency due to weight reductions
Oil and Gas Pipelines: 16%
Superior ability to withstand increased pressure and volumes over greater distances (substitution of niobium is not possible)
Shipbuilding: 6% of FeNb Market Bridge - Nb Weight Savings

HSLA allows for lighter ships with lower fuel consumption. Adds strength and weld ability

Stainless Steel: 3%
Nb reduces corrosion and improves high temperature behavior
Superalloys & High Strength Q&T plate: 3%
  • Used in the aerospace industry (jet turbines)
  • MRI machines (super conducting NbTi Alloy magnets)


Niobium is at the top of American Resources Risk Pyramid due to high supply concentration and its economic importance for the American Economy (See Below)

risk pyramid

Niobium Market Demand Growth:

Niobium production is concentrated in Brazil which produces 92% of the world’s supply.  The balance of the world’s supply is produced in Canada (8%)

Niobium is considered a “strategic metal” by the US, as it is essential for National Security and industry
“Niobium demand has grown at a 10% compound annual growth rate over the last 10 years and is forecast to increase steadily going forward.” Carol Banducci, CFO, IAMGOLD
Only 10% of worldwide steel production contains niobium – expected to rise to as much as 20%
Developed countries utilize roughly 100 g/t of steel – while China only utilizes 40 g/t
Ferroniobium use intensity in HSLA steel is expected to grow from approximately 50 g/t in 2014 to as much as 65 g/t in 2020.


Who Produces Niobium and Where:

Brazil is the world’s largest producer of niobium (92%), followed by Canada. Brazil has two of the largest niobium deposits in the world, the Araxá and the Catalão deposits. The third-largest producer is the Niobec mine in Quebec.


About Niobium


Niobium production is a multi-billion dollar a year market that is essential to the automotive, pipeline and construction industries.

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About Scandium


Scandium is a critical component in advanced fuel cell technologies and has numerous applications in the aerospace and transportation sectors.

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Address: 7000 S. Yosemite St. Suite 115
Centennial, CO 80112

General Inquiries:
(720) 639-4647

Investor Relations:
Jim Sims, VP External Affairs
Telephone: 1-855-2-NIOCORP
Email: jim.sims@niocorp.com