National Security Critical Minerals
The superalloy metals that NioCorp intends to produce in Nebraska — Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium — are all vital to a range of national security and homeland security applications and technologies utilized by all branches of the military. Not only that, but according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. is 100% reliant on foreign nations for the niobium and scandium that we use in national defense systems, and is more than 90% reliant on foreign nations for titanium mineral concentrate. Moreover, the U.S. Government considers niobium such a critical and strategic material that is has purchased niobium and currently stores it in the National Defense Stockpile (NDS) in the event of national emergencies. Only a handful of critical strategic materials are considered so important that they are stored in the NDS.
National Security Systems that Utilize NioCorp’s Planned Products
Superalloy Blog Posts
As the U.S. looks to repair crumbling infrastructure systems, I expect to see more high-performance steels (HPS) used in structures like bridges because of the many powerful benefits they deliver. HPS steels containing a small amount of ferroniobium – which NioCorp plans to produce in southeast Nebraska at our Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project once we are funded and in operation – are among the strongest and most durable steels on the market today.
If a $2 trillion U.S. infrastructure package is enacted, it could create a major, long-term demand boom for the critical minerals needed by infrastructure and advanced transportation systems, according to NioCorp’s CEO Mark Smith.
One global macro trend is highly likely to accelerate in the aftermath of COVID-19: increased investment in domestic materials supply chains as a means of reducing the reliance of Western nations on supply chains in developing nations. Asia’s dominance in many strategic supply chains has become painfully obvious since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted.
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