CENTENNIAL, Colo., October 4, 2022 — Automotive and other manufacturers should not count on sufficient supplies of rare earths and other critical minerals coming from China, because China is increasingly consuming its own production for electric vehicles and other technologies that use permanent rare earth magnets, Mark A. Smith, CEO and Executive Chairman of NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company“) (TSX: NB; OTCQX: NIOBF) said during an appearance Monday on Fox Business News.
Mr. Smith was a guest on Fox Business News’ “The Claman Countdown,” hosted by Liz Claman. The segment, which aired on October 3, 2022, can be seen here: https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6313208120112
“Rare earth minerals are very, very important, and the majority of the rare earths in the world today are coming out of China,” Mr. Smith said. “Well, that’s fine, except China’s making a whole bunch of EVs. Now we want to make EVs. And there isn’t going to be enough rare earths coming out of China to feed all of those EVs that we want.”
Ms. Claman asked Mr. Smith whether large automotive manufacturers and other potential customers are inquiring about the critical minerals that NioCorp intends to produce at its Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project in southeast Nebraska, once sufficient project financing is obtained to allow the Project to proceed.
“Who’s approaching you right now? Who wants these minerals? Is the word out?” Ms. Claman asked.
“The word is out,” Mr. Smith responded. “You’ve seen the reports about the automobile companies, the steel companies, going out and searching for these minerals. They can’t find enough of these minerals. So, we are in discussions with some of the top automotive companies, the top steel companies in the world, because they want to put their procurement programs together, 10, 15, 20 years out. We’re happy to talk to them.”
Mr. Smith also commented on NioCorp’s recent announcement of its signing of a definitive agreement (the “Business Combination Agreement”) for a proposed business combination between NioCorp and GX Acquisition Corp. II (“GXII”) (Nasdaq: GXII). Under the Business Combination Agreement, NioCorp will acquire GXII, a U.S.-based special purpose acquisition company, and intends to be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange soon after the acquisition closes, which is expected in the first quarter of 2023, subject to the approvals of both the NioCorp shareholders and the GXII shareholders at to-be-called special shareholder meetings and other customary closing conditions. NioCorp shares will also continue to be traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The proposed transaction values the combined entity at an estimated enterprise value of $313.5 million.
Details on that announcement can be seen here: https://www.niocorp.com/niocorp-to-combine-with-nasdaq-listed-gxii-to-access-additional-capital-for-the-elk-creek-critical-minerals-project/
A detailed presentation regarding the transaction and on NioCorp and its flagship Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project, can be seen here: https://secureservercdn.net/184.108.40.206/gx0.d43.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/NioCorp_Investor_Presentation.pdf
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For More Information:
Jim Sims, Corporate Communications Officer, NioCorp Developments Ltd., 720-639-4650, [email protected]
@NioCorp @GXII $NB.TO $NIOBF $BR3 #Niobium #Scandium #rareearth #neodymium #dysprosium #terbium #ElkCreek #EV #electricvehicle
NioCorp is developing a critical minerals project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce niobium, scandium, and titanium. The Company also is evaluating the potential to produce several rare earths from the Project. Niobium is used to produce specialty alloys 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 specialty metal that can be combined with Aluminum to make alloys with increased strength and improved corrosion resistance. Scandium is also a critical component of advanced solid oxide fuel cells. Titanium is used in various lightweight alloys and is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics and is also used for aerospace applications, armor, and medical implants. Magnetic rare earths, such as neodymium, praseodymium, terbium, and dysprosium are critical to the making of Neodymium-Iron-Boron (“NdFeB”) magnets, which are used across a wide variety of defense and civilian applications.
Additional Information about the Proposed Transaction and Where to Find It
In connection with the proposed Transaction, NioCorp intends to file a registration statement on Form S-4 (the “registration statement”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), which will include a document that serves as a prospectus and proxy circular of NioCorp and a proxy statement of GXII, referred to as a “joint proxy statement/prospectus.” The definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus will be filed with the SEC as part of the registration statement and, in the case of NioCorp, with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities, and will be sent to all NioCorp shareholders and GXII stockholders as of the applicable record date to be established. Each of NioCorp and GXII may also file other relevant documents regarding the proposed Transaction with the SEC and, in the case of NioCorp, with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING OR INVESTMENT DECISION, INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF NIOCORP AND GXII ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT, THE DEFINITIVE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND ALL OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED OR THAT WILL BE FILED WITH THE SEC AND, IN THE CASE OF NIOCORP, WITH THE APPLICABLE CANADIAN SECURITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION, INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS TO THESE DOCUMENTS, CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION.
Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the registration statement and the joint proxy statement/prospectus (if and when available) and all other relevant documents that are filed or that will be filed with the SEC by NioCorp or GXII through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the joint proxy statement/prospectus (if and when available) and all other relevant documents that are filed or that will be filed with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities by NioCorp through the website maintained by the Canadian Securities Administrators at www.sedar.com. The documents filed by NioCorp and GXII with the SEC and, in the case of NioCorp, with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities also may be obtained by contacting NioCorp at 7000 South Yosemite, Suite 115, Centennial CO 80112, or by calling (720) 639-4650; or GXII at 1325 Avenue of the Americas, 28th Floor, New York, NY 10019, or by calling (212) 616-3700.
Participants in the Solicitation
NioCorp, GXII and certain of their respective directors, executive officers and other members of management and employees may, under SEC rules, be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from NioCorp’s shareholders and GXII’s stockholders in connection with the proposed Transaction. Information regarding the executive officers and directors of NioCorp is included in its management information and proxy circular for its 2021 annual general meeting of shareholders filed with the SEC and the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities on October 22, 2021. Information regarding the executive officers and directors of GXII is included in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on March 25, 2022. Additional information regarding the persons who may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation, including information regarding their interests in the proposed Transaction, will be contained in the registration statement and the joint proxy statement/prospectus (if and when available). NioCorp’s shareholders and GXII’s stockholders and other interested parties may obtain free copies of these documents free of charge by directing a written request to NioCorp or GXII.
No Offer or Solicitation
This press release and the information contained herein do not constitute (i) (a) a solicitation of a proxy, consent or authorization with respect to any securities or in respect of the proposed Transaction or (b) an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security, commodity or instrument or related derivative, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which the offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction or (ii) an offer or commitment to lend, syndicate or arrange a financing, underwrite or purchase or act as an agent or advisor or in any other capacity with respect to any transaction, or commit capital, or to participate in any trading strategies. No offer of securities in the United States or to or for the account or benefit of U.S. persons (as defined in Regulation S under the Securities Act) shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or an exemption therefrom. Investors should consult with their counsel as to the applicable requirements for a purchaser to avail itself of any exemption under the Securities Act. In Canada, no offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus in accordance with the requirements of applicable Canadian securities laws or an exemption therefrom. This press release is not, and under no circumstances is it to be construed as, a prospectus, offering memorandum, an advertisement or a public offering in any province or territory of Canada. In Canada, no prospectus has been filed with any securities commission or similar regulatory authority in respect of any of the securities referred to herein.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the parties’ ability to close the proposed Transaction, including NioCorp and GXII being able to receive all required regulatory, third-party and shareholder approvals for the proposed Transaction; the anticipated benefits of the proposed Transaction, including the potential amount of cash that may be available to the combined company upon consummation of the proposed Transaction and the use of the net proceeds following the redemptions by GXII public shareholders; NioCorp’s expectation that its common shares will be accepted for listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market following the closing of the proposed Transaction; the execution of definitive agreements relating to the convertible debenture transaction and the stand by equity purchase facility contemplated by the term sheets with Yorkville Advisors Global, LP (“Yorkville”); the financial and business performance of NioCorp; NioCorp’s anticipated results and developments in the operations of NioCorp in future periods; NioCorp’s planned exploration activities; the adequacy of NioCorp’s financial resources; NioCorp’s ability to secure sufficient project financing to complete construction and commence operation of the Elk Creek Project; NioCorp’s expectation and ability to produce niobium, scandium, and titanium at the Elk Creek Project; the outcome of current recovery process improvement testing, and NioCorp’s expectation that such process improvements could lead to greater efficiencies and cost savings in the Elk Creek Project; the Elk Creek Project’s ability to produce multiple critical metals; the Elk Creek Project’s projected ore production and mining operations over its expected mine life; the completion of the demonstration plant and technical and economic analyses on the potential addition of magnetic rare earth oxides to NioCorp’s planned product suite; the exercise of options to purchase additional land parcels; the execution of contracts with engineering, procurement and construction companies; NioCorp’s ongoing evaluation of the impact of inflation, supply chain issues and geopolitical unrest on the Elk Creek Project’s economic model; the impact of health epidemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, on NioCorp’s business and the actions NioCorp may take in response thereto; and the creation of full time and contract construction jobs over the construction period of the Elk Creek Project. In addition, any statements that refer to projections (including Averaged EBITDA, Averaged EBITDA Margin, and After-Tax Cumulative Net Free Cash Flow), forecasts or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “plan,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “outlook,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “project,” “continue,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “should,” “would” and other similar words and expressions, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking.
The forward-looking statements are based on the current expectations of the management of NioCorp and GXII, as applicable, and are inherently subject to uncertainties and changes in circumstances and their potential effects and speak only as of the date of such statement. There can be no assurance that future developments will be those that have been anticipated. Forward-looking statements reflect material expectations and assumptions, including, without limitation, expectations, and assumptions relating to: the future price of metals; the stability of the financial and capital markets; NioCorp and GXII being able to receive all required regulatory, third-party, and shareholder approvals for the proposed Transaction; the amount of redemptions by GXII public shareholders; the execution of definitive agreements relating to the convertible debenture transaction and the stand by equity purchase facility contemplated by the term sheets with Yorkville; and other current estimates and assumptions regarding the proposed Transaction and its benefits. Such expectations and assumptions are inherently subject to uncertainties and contingencies regarding future events and, as such, are subject to change. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other factors that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those discussed and identified in public filings made by NioCorp and GXII with the SEC and, in the case of NioCorp, with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the following: the amount of any redemptions by existing holders of GXII Class A Shares being greater than expected, which may reduce the cash in trust available to NioCorp upon the consummation of the business combination; the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the Business Combination Agreement and/or payment of the termination fees; the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against NioCorp or GXII following announcement of the Business Combination Agreement and the transactions contemplated therein; the inability to complete the proposed transactions due to, among other things, the failure to obtain NioCorp shareholder approval or GXII shareholder approval or the execution of definitive agreements relating to the convertible debenture transaction and the stand by equity purchase facility contemplated by the term sheets with Yorkville; the risk that the announcement and consummation of the proposed transactions disrupts NioCorp’s current plans; the ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the proposed transactions; unexpected costs related to the proposed transactions; the risks that the consummation of the proposed transactions is substantially delayed or does not occur, including prior to the date on which GXII is required to liquidate under the terms of its charter documents; NioCorp’s ability to operate as a going concern; NioCorp’s requirement of significant additional capital; NioCorp’s limited operating history; NioCorp’s history of losses; cost increases for NioCorp’s exploration and, if warranted, development projects; a disruption in, or failure of, NioCorp’s information technology systems, including those related to cybersecurity; equipment and supply shortages; current and future offtake agreements, joint ventures, and partnerships; NioCorp’s ability to attract qualified management; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic or other global health crises on NioCorp’s business plans, financial condition and liquidity; estimates of mineral resources and reserves; mineral exploration and production activities; feasibility study results; changes in demand for and price of commodities (such as fuel and electricity) and currencies; 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; claims on the title to NioCorp’s properties; potential future litigation; and NioCorp’s lack of insurance covering all of NioCorp’s operations.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize or should any of the assumptions made by the management of NioCorp and GXII prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in these forward-looking statements.
All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements concerning the proposed Transaction or other matters addressed herein and attributable to NioCorp, GXII or any person acting on their behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to herein. Except to the extent required by applicable law or regulation, NioCorp and GXII undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.