CENTENNIAL, Colo. (September 3, 2019)– NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company“) (TSX: NB; OTCQX: NIOBF) is pleased to announce its intent to integrate key Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) principles as it proceeds toward development and commercial operation of its flagship Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project (the “Project”) and continues to evolve from a developing company into an operating company with a global customer base.
ESG refers to factors that an increasing number of companies are integrating into their business models and operations, such as environmental performance, sustainability, resource use, health and safety, engagement with local residents, corporate governance, respect for human rights, and operational transparency.
Corporate ESG performance is increasingly vital to both business risk assessment and to the identification of business opportunities. This is especially true as markets, and government regulation, are assigning higher value to companies that deliver product and/or services that can lightweight transportation and other systems, reduce fuel consumption, cut air emissions, and mitigate other environmental impacts. A number of large mining and strategic materials producers have integrated ESG frameworks into their business and production operations.
Corporate ESG performance also is key to investment decision-making by an ever-larger number of global investment groups. For example, sustainable investing strategies now represent more than 60% of professionally managed assets for investors in the European Union, according to research conducted by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. Further, signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (“UNPRI”) now manage an estimated $60 trillion in assets, according to the UNPRI.
“Environmental, social, and governance factors can and should play a major role in any business, particularly those involved in natural resource development,” said Mark A. Smith, CEO and Executive Chairman of NioCorp. “These factors are fundamental to NioCorp’s core values. Moreover, implementing the proper corporate ESG culture can be good for the environment and for business.”
Mr. Smith noted that a number of environmental and efficiency advancements made to the Elk Creek Project have already driven substantial improvements in the economics of the Project, as demonstrated in the Company’s April 2019 Elk Creek Project Feasibility Study (see this), and have significantly reduced the Project’s regulatory and permitting risk. Such advancements include the following: (1) reducing air emissions below U.S. federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) levels; (2) designing the Project as a zero-process-liquid discharge facility; (3) reducing waste production and other impacts through recycling, (4) employing mine tailings as structural underground backfill; (5) minimizing the Project’s operational footprint; among others.
As a result of these and other factors, the Elk Creek Project has already demonstrated compliance with the Equator Principles (http://www.equator-principles.com), according to the qualified professionals who authored the April 2019 Elk Creek Project Feasibility Study.
The key ESG principles that NioCorp intends to integrate into its business and the Elk Creek Project as the Company proceeds toward commercial operation include these:
- Environmental Stewardship: seek improvement in environmental performance quality, such as water stewardship, energy use, and air where technically and economically feasible.
- Sustainability: integrate sustainable development principles into Company policies and practices where technically and economically feasible.
- Governance: apply ethical business practices and sound systems of corporate governance and transparency.
- Risk Management: identify, assess, and seek to manage significant social, health, safety, environmental and economic impacts.
- Health & Safety: develop systems that seek to improve the health and safety of employees, contractors and people in the communities where we operate.
- Engagement: proactively engage key stakeholders on sustainable development challenges and opportunities in an open and transparent manner.
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NioCorp $NB $NIOBF #Niobium #Scandium #ElkCreek #ESG
For More Information
Contact Jim Sims, VP of External Affairs, NioCorp Developments Ltd., 20-639-4650, firstname.lastname@example.org
NioCorp is developing a superalloy materials project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium. 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 also is 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.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this document may constitute forward-looking statements, including statements regarding NioCorp’s plans to integrate ESG principles into the Company and the Project, and its compliance with the current Equator Principles. 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.