ELK CREEK PROJECT
The Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project
NioCorp is developing North America’s only niobium / scandium / titanium critical minerals mine and processing facility. Located near Elk Creek, Nebraska, the Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project will help the US reduce its dependence on several critical minerals and support the world’s transition to net zero CO2 emissions.
Take a comprehensive look at NioCorp and the Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project in NioCorp’s latest presentation.
High-Level Project Summary
- The project is a shovel-ready pure-play critical minerals project with the highest-grade Niobium resource in North America and the 2nd largest indicated rare earth resource in the U.S.
- With this project, NioCorp is positioned to become a major U.S. miner and producer of niobium, which is forecast to see strong demand growth via rapid-charging solid-state titanium niobium lithium ion batteries.
- Once in full-scale production, the project will empower the US to emerge as large prospective US producer of scandium. Scandium has large latent demand in the commercial aviation and automotive sectors.
- NioCorp is conducting technical and economic analyses5 on the potential addition to its planned product suite of several magnetic rare earth oxides, which are forecast to experience large supply shortages because of sharply rising demand.
- Elk Creek Project is strongly focused on environmental, social, and governance values and is already aligned with the Equator Principles ESG Framework.
Elk Creek Project Location and Layout
The Project is located here:
- 105 km (65 miles) southeast of Lincoln, Nebraska (the state capital)
- 129 km (80 miles) south of Omaha, Nebraska.
- 3 miles west of Elk Creek, Nebraska and 6 miles south of Tecumseh, Nebraska.
Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources
Based on the 2022 Elk Creek Technical Report, the Project’s “Mineral Reserves and Resources” are shown below. Full details on Project’s Mineral Resource and MIneral Reserve can be seen here, along with important disclaimers & technical Disclosures.
|Mineral Resource Classification
NOTE: Mineral Resources shown above are reported inclusive of the Mineral Reserve.
|Mineral Reserve Classification
NOTE: For a complete description of the Elk Creek Project’s Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, please see this.
Feasibility Study Completed
According to NioCorp’s June 2022 Elk Creek Feasibility Study, the Project has a Pre-Tax Net Present Value of $2.8 billion, a pre-tax Internal Rate of Return 29.2%, and a relatively long mine life of 38 years. The Study also confirms that the Project’s rare earth indicated resource is second only to MP Materials’ Mountain Pass deposit in the U.S.
- You can see the full text of our Feasibility Study here.
- A high-level summary of the Feasibility Study’s findings can be seen here.
This short video provides a high-level summary of the Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project.
A Climate Smart Minerals Project
NioCorp’s Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project was designed from the ground up with sustainability in mind. In addition to incorporating a range of environmental, recycling, and emissions reduction features, the Project is also fully aligned with the Equator Principles, which provides independent auditing and reporting mechanisms.
See our innovative environmental and sustainability features of the Project below:
Recent Milestones Achieved
NioCorp and Stellantis agree to a rare earth offtake term sheet, with the goal of entering into a definitive rare earth supply agreement and potential strategic investment by Stellantis in NioCorp.
On March 6, 2023, NioCorp announced that it has applied for a loan from the US Export-Import Bank, which would help provide for the debt component for the Elk Creek Project.
NioCorp recently demonstrated a recovery rate of 92% or better for rare earths at its demonstration plant, which is testing a more efficient flow sheet for processing Elk Creek ore.
On May 26, 2023, NioCorp announced that it has successfully demonstrated higher recovery rates for titanium at its demonstration plant. The new recovery rate is more than twice as high as the previous rate.
Our Critical Minerals
NioCorp plans to produce some of the world’s most critical minerals, including Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium.
NioCorp plans to make Ferroniobium, which is used as an additive to steel, making the steel much tougher, stronger, and more corrosion-resistent. Niobium-strengthened steel also allows for lighter-weight applications, reducing energy consumption and harmful air emissions.
Scandium is a remarkable element with many uses, including as an additive to aluminum. It makes for alloys that are much stronger and corrosion-resistant than other aluminum alloys. Scandium also allows these alloys to be reliably welded, which opens up many applications in transportation and aerospace.
Titanium is a highly sought-after refractory metals and is used across many industries, including industrial processes, aerospace and defense, medical applications industry, and many more. The U.S. is highly reliant upon foreign imports of this critical mineral, including (historically) from Russia and Ukraine.
FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS UNDERWAY
Magnetic Rare Earth Elements
NioCorp is also conducting technical and economic analyses on the potential addition to its planned product suite of several magnetic rare earth oxides, shown below, which are forecast to experience large supply shortages because of sharply rising demand.
Also known as “NdPr” or “Didymium Oxide,” this purified rare earth oxide is indispensable to the manufacturing of high-performance rare earth permanent magnets. These magnets are crucial to electric vehicles and other energy efficient applications.
Like Dysprosium, Terbium is “heavy” rare earth is used in a variety of electronic, automotive, and other applications, including high-performance rare earth permanent magnets. The Elk Creek Project contains the largest indicated Terbium Mineral Resource in the U.S.
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