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What We Believe
At NioCorp, we believe in strengthening our world and protecting the environment through superalloy materials like Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium. By producing these advanced materials in the U.S., we can enable stronger and lighter transportation, longer-lived infrastructure, and more effective national security systems. All of these advances will improve fuel economy, reduce harmful air emissions, help to protect our environment, and help keep the world safer and more secure.
WHAT WE PLAN TO PRODUCE
We plan to produce three products from our large estimated mineral resource located in Southeast Nebraska: Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium. Each are used in superalloys and other high-performance materials in the automotive, aerospace, commercial aviation, clean energy, and mega-steel infrastructure sectors. In general, the products we intend to produce enable increased strength and lighter weight, which leads to better fuel efficiency and less harmful air emissions.
THE PROBLEM WE ARE ADDRESSING
Niobium and Scandium are considered critical and strategic metals by many nations because of their many uses in clean energy, transportation, energy efficiency, defense and mega-steel infrastructure projects. However, very little Niobium is produced in the U.S. or in the European Union, even though global demand is growing at a 4-6% global compound annual growth rate. Virtually no Scandium is produced outside of China and Russia, and only 10-15 tonnes is consumed globally each year. Independent estimates peg latent demand for Scandium at several hundred tonnes/year. In addition, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the U.S. is more than 90% reliant on foreign supplies for titanium mineral concentrate.
THE OPPORTUNITY WE ARE TARGETING
As greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel efficiency regulations get more stringent around the world, demand for materials that lighten and strengthen transportation and infrastructure projects, such as Niobium and Scandium, is increasing. NioCorp intends to help meet this growing demand and diversify upstream supplies of these highly valuable metals by producing them in the U.S.
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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