CENTENNIAL, Colo. (June 9, 2021) – NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company“) (TSX:NB) (OTCQX:NIOBF) is pleased to announce the initiation of testing of Elk Creek Project (“Project”) ore using High-Pressure Grinding Rolls (“HPGR”) technology. HPGR technology is an energy efficient and low-emission alternative for reducing the size of the ore to enable the recovery of niobium, scandium, titanium, and potential rare earth products. The use of HPGR in the Project reinforces the Company’s commitment to the environment and designing a sustainable operation.
The testing is being conducted at the Natural Resources Research Institute (“NRRI”) of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, in partnership with Weir Minerals. During the testing, which is expected to take several weeks, approximately 3 tonnes of Elk Creek drill core will be reduced to the 1-millimeter size needed for hydrometallurgical testwork. The testwork is expected to provide key data that will be used to properly size the HPGR unit for the potential ore throughput at the Elk Creek Project, once project financing is secured and the project is operational.
The Company is currently evaluating next steps in its overall metallurgical testwork program, which will focus on optimizing and streamlining the existing processing flowsheet as well as establishing process routes for the potential recovery of rare earth products. The rare earth products that are of most interest to the Company at present are Neodymium-Praseodymium (“NdPr”) oxide, Terbium oxide and Dysprosium oxide. As previously announced, the Company has launched a review of the economic potential of expanding its currently planned product suite from the Project to also include rare earth products.
“After witnessing testing at NRRI, I was impressed with how the HPGR was able to handle the Elk Creek ore quickly and efficiently, with minimal noise and dust,” said Scott Honan, NioCorp COO. “We look forward to completing this phase of the testwork and moving on to look at further improvements to the existing flowsheet, including our new emphasis around the rare earths.”
Qualified Persons: Scott Honan, M.Sc., SME-RM, COO of NioCorp Developments Ltd., a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical information contained in the news release.
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For More Information
Contact Jim Sims, VP of External Affairs, NioCorp Developments Ltd., 720-639-4650, email@example.com
NioCorp is developing a superalloy materials project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium. Also under consideration by the Company is the production of several magnetic rare earth products. Niobium is used to produce superalloys 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 superalloy material 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 superalloys 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.
Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimers
Certain statements contained in this document may constitute forward-looking statements, including statements regarding NioCorp’s completion of HPGR testing of its ore and the benefits of this technology, as well as the potential of economically producing rare earth products in addition to the company’s currently planned suite of products. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause a change in such assumptions and the actual outcomes and estimates to be materially different from those estimated or anticipated future results, achievements or position expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause NioCorp’s plans or prospects to change include risks related to the Company’s ability to operate as a going concern; risks related to the Company’s requirement of significant additional capital; changes in demand for and price of commodities (such as fuel and electricity) and currencies; changes in economic valuations of the Project, such as Net Present Value calculations, 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; and the risks involved in the exploration, development and mining business and the risks set forth in the Company’s filings with Canadian securities regulators at www.sedar.com and the SEC at www.sec.gov. NioCorp disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.