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National Security Critical Minerals

The superalloy metals that NioCorp intends to produce in Nebraska — Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium — are all vital to a range of national security and homeland security applications and technologies utilized by all branches of the military. Not only that, but according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. is 100% reliant on foreign nations for the niobium and scandium that we use in national defense systems, and is more than 90% reliant on foreign nations for titanium mineral concentrate.  Moreover, the U.S. Government considers niobium such a critical and strategic material that is has purchased niobium and currently stores it in the National Defense Stockpile (NDS) in the event of national emergencies. Only a handful of critical strategic materials are considered so important that they are stored in the NDS.

National Security Systems that Utilize NioCorp’s Planned Products

Jet Engines

Alloys made with Niobium and Titanium are used extensively in jet engines that power modern military aircraft because of these alloys’ ability to withstand very high temperatures and pressures and maintain a high level of corrosion resistance. 

Naval Vessels

Niobium and Titanium are both integral to naval vessels, both on the surface and beneath the sea.  Niobium is used in High Strength, Low . Alloy (HSLA) steel on naval vessels, and alloys containing titanium are found throughout these systems.  When abundant and reliable supplies of Scandium come online, new lightweight naval vessels are expected to make extensive use of that metal.

Military Aircraft

Modern military jets rely extensively on Niobium and Titanium throughout the plane’s engines, structure, and payload. As Scandium becomes more available from reliable suppliers, that metal is expected to be used extensively in military aircraft. The former Soviet Union reportedly deployed Scandium in its most advanced military aircraft. 

Missile Systems

Niobium and Titanium and various alloys that utilize these metals are integral to missile system nose cones, engines, structural elements, electronics and other components of many modern missile systems.  The Former Soviet Union reportedly utilized Scandium in its missile systems.

Satellites and Aerospace

Satellites and other aerospace systems use superalloy metals such as Niobium and Titanium because of the highly unique properties that these elements provide to such systems.  The potential for Scandium’s use in various aerospace systems is very substantial.

Protective Armor

High Strength, Low Alloy (HSLA) steels made with Niobium, and high-performance alloys made with Titanium, play important roles in a wide variety of protective armor used in military systems, including on the M1A2 Abrams Tank and other battlefield platforms.

Power Generation

Highly efficient and environmentally friendly Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, which utilize Scandium, are used extensively by the military as distributed power generation units.  Niobium and Titanium are also extensively used in natural gas-fired power generation units. 

Nuclear Powered Propulsion

Niobium’s strength, high melting point, resistance to chemical attack, and low neutron absorption cross-section make it particularly well-suited to us in nuclear power propulsion systems on military naval vessels.

Medical Applications

Niobium and Titanium are used extensively across a range of health care and medical systems, from MRI imaging systems to bio-mechanical implants.


All three of NioCorp’s planned products have very important uses in electronics systems, such as in circuits, capacitors, lasers and other applications that are used in national defense technologies and applications.

Cutting and Machine Tools

Niobium carbide, titanium nitride, and other alloys of these metals are used in variety cutting and machine tools that are vital to both defense and civilian technologies and applications.

Lightweight Mobile Structures

Scandium is seen as having enormous potential uses in lightweight mobile bridges, such as in systems like the U.S. military’s M60A1 Armored Vehicle Landing Bridge system.

Sensors and Optics

Niobium, Titanium, and Scandium all are used in various optical and sensor systems that can have both military and civilian applications.

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