Dear Fellow Shareholders:
A great deal of progress has been made in 2020 on the Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project, and our efforts to secure project financing and move the Project to construction and operation are also continuing to move forward. I thought you would appreciate an update on the Project and on NioCorp. I hope you find the information below helpful and informative.
On behalf of the NioCorp Board of Directors and management, I want to thank all shareholders for their support and their patience as the Company continues to advance the Project. We are shovel-ready and ready to go once we secure financing on terms that are beneficial to shareholders.
As always, please stay safe and keep your families and loved ones safe as well.
All the best,
Mark A. Smith
President, CEO, and Executive Chairman
NioCorp Developments Ltd.
ELK CREEK PROJECT NAMED A “PROJECT OF THE YEAR” BY A LEADING GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP
On October 28, 2020, NioCorp’s Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project (the “Project”) was named an infrastructure “Project of the Year” by CG/LA Infrastructure, the global leader in infrastructure strategy and project development. The award was announced during the CG/LA Infrastructure’s 12th North American Infrastructure Leadership Virtual Forum, at which NioCorp presented.
A DC-based organization, CG/LA Infrastructure takes an active role in helping to facilitate investment in and execution of large infrastructure projects all over the world. With the increasing focus on the role that critical minerals play in the economy, and in infrastructure projects in particular, CG/LA chose the Elk Creek Project as an excellent example of a U.S.-based mine and mineral processing project designed to support infrastructure projects.
After initially including the Elk Creek Project in CG/LA’s Top 100 Infrastructure Projects, CG/LA then nominated our Project as one of three top projects in the “Finance/Funding” category. The Elk Creek Project then received the most votes from infrastructure and industry leaders, and from the public, to earn the top position in the category.
CG/LA elevated the Project from its initial listing as a Top 100 Infrastructure Project to a Top 3 project in the Finance/Funding category. CG/LA chose this category because they wanted to help promote investment in what they see as a unique and highly valuable project to the infrastructure cause. Voting by the public over the last several days pushed the Elk Creek Project to the top of our category and, as you may have seen yesterday, they named Elk Creek as a “Project of the Year” at the U.S. Infrastructure Forum.
CG/LA Infrastructure’s mission is to promote projects that advance the cause of infrastructure build-out and modernization. They see the Elk Creek Project as a key component to strengthening supply chains in the U.S. for infrastructure development. They are actively assisting us in educating a large industry about the Project and what we intend to produce. They also are playing an active role in highlighting our Project as a potentially attractive investment opportunity. We very much welcome their support and assistance.
2020 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
As was previously announced, the Company will conduct its 2020 Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 7000 S. Yosemite Street, Lower Level Conference Room, Centennial, Colorado, 80112.
Shareholders of record as of September 18, 2020 are able to vote their shares on the proposals to be considered at the AGM either by proxy in advance of the meeting or at the meeting. Proxy or voting instructions must be received in each case no later than 10:00 a.m., Mountain time, on November 3, 2020, or no later than 48 hours before the AGM is reconvened following any adjournment or postponement. Information on the AGM can be found here.
Because of a recent increase in reported COVID infections in Colorado, and recent actions by governmental units in Colorado to further tighten restrictions on public gatherings, NioCorp cannot predict what will be allowed by law in terms of a physical gathering for the AGM. Shareholders eligible to vote their shares are strongly encouraged to do so via proxy in advance of the November 5, 2020 AGM in Colorado. NioCorp will host a live presentation / webcast shortly after the Annual General Meeting, and details on this are listed below.
As always, shareholders who have questions about the AGM are encouraged to contact Jim Sims, NioCorp’s VP of External Affairs, at 303-503-6203 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIVE PUBLIC WEBCAST FOLLOWING THE 2020 Annual General Meeting
NioCorp will host a live public webcast following the 2020 AGM, starting at 11:30 a.m., Mountain time, on November 5, 2020, featuring NioCorp’s CEO and Executive Chairman, Mark A. Smith, and Chief Operating Officer, Scott Honan. Following opening remarks by Mr. Smith, Mr. Honan will provide a detailed presentation on how NioCorp intends to execute on the Elk Creek Project from construction to commissioning to commercial operation, if and when project financing is obtained.
- TITLE: Executing on the Elk Creek Critical Minerals Mine and Processing Facility.
- FEATURING: Mark Smith, NioCorp CEO and Executive Chairman, and Scott Honan, NioCorp COO.
- DATE: Thursday, November 5, 2020
- TIME: 11:30 a.m., Mountain time
- REGISTRATION LINK: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1018719923919495181
- WEBINAR ID: 939-419-419
- LISTEN-ONLY CALL-IN NUMBER: +1 (415) 655-0052, Access Code: 483-717-234
This will be a live, interactive online event where investors are invited to ask the Company questions in real-time. If attendees are not able to join the event live on the day of the conference, an archived webcast will also be made available after the event.
PROJECT FINANCING UPDATE
The Company has been pursuing financing for the Elk Creek Project along a number of tracks. This strategy maximizes the opportunity for the Project to receive financing from more than one source.
As many shareholders know, NioCorp secured “in-principle” eligibility in 2015 for a loan guarantee for between approximately $146 -$179 million from the German Government’s Untied Loan Guarantee program. This provisional loan guarantee approval has proven very helpful in providing a de-risking component to a comprehensive debt financing package.
However, the Company’s primary focus on financing has been to fashion a financing package with private investment groups that is weighted heavily on debt financing. In that regard, the Company continues to engage in discussions with a number of potential financing parties. Project financing packages of this size can be quite complex and often involve a high degree of coordination among many different parties in multiple geographic areas. Delays are commonplace – and always highly frustrating. Since the start of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has added significant delays to NioCorp’s project financing initiatives.
While there can be no guarantees of success in any of these efforts, and while there are no definitive timelines for any proposed financing, NioCorp remains optimistic that it ultimately will be successful in its efforts to secure financing for the Project, and the Company will announce any definitive accomplishments as they occur.
In the near-term, the Company continues to be successful in obtaining funding to carry out near-term planned work programs to advance the Project, some of which are described below.
PROGRESS MADE IN 2020
While the Company’s primary focus today is on obtaining project financing necessary to move the Project to construction, commissioning, and commercial operation, the NioCorp team continues to work hard to advance many different elements of the Project in preparation for the groundbreaking that will follow successful project financing. Here are some of the many accomplishments of the NioCorp team over the past year.
Johnson County, Nebraska Approves Special Use Permit for the Project
On December 24, 2019, the Johnson County, Nebraska, Board of Commissioners approved a Special Use Permit for Project, a key local government permit that allows the Project to move to construction once project financing is obtained. More info here.
Large Integrated U.S.-Based Steel Producer Signs Non-Binding Letter of Intent with NioCorp to Purchase 25% of NioCorp’s Planned Ferroniobium Production
On April 13, 2020, NioCorp announced that it had signed a non-binding letter of intent with a large, integrated U.S.-based steel producer outlining the steel producer’s interest in purchasing up to 25% of NioCorp’s production of ferroniobium over the first 10 years of production. If a binding sales offtake agreement is reached, it would effectively sell out NioCorp’s Elk Creek Project for its ferroniobium production over the first decade of its estimated 36-year mine life. More info here.
Nebraska Construction Air Permit Secured
On June 3, 2020, the Company announced that a final Construction Air Permit had been issued by the State of Nebraska for the Project, culminating a multi-year effort by the NioCorp team and its permitting consultants. The Construction Air Permit, in conjunction with the Special Use Permit issued in December 2019 by Johnson County, Nebraska, means that NioCorp is now positioned to launch construction activities at the Project site as soon as possible after project financing is obtained. More info here.
NioCorp Names Scott Honan as Chief Operating Officer
On July 2, 2020, NioCorp announced that Scott Honan was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of NioCorp, a new position. More info here.
NioCorp Secures Final Land Option Deal for the Project
On July 14, 2020, NioCorp announced that it had secured an option-to-purchase agreement on a 164-acre land parcel in Johnson and Pawnee Counties for the Project, which represented the final option-to-purchase agreement extension required for the land needed for planned future construction, operations, and expansions of the Project. In total, in 2019 and 2020, NioCorp successfully negotiated nine option-to-purchase agreements or extensions of existing option-to-purchase agreements covering a total of 1,662 acres of land in southeast Nebraska, with expirations occurring between 2022 and 2040. The Company now holds 13 option-to-purchase agreements covering a total of 2,536 acres in Johnson and Pawnee Counties. More info here.
NioCorp R&D Effort Identifies Possible Improved Approach to Niobium Extraction for its Elk Creek Project
On September 29, 2020, NioCorp announced that advances by NioCorp’s technical team had uncovered a potential alternative process for extracting niobium from the Project and that, if further proven to be technologically and economically feasible at scale and if incorporated by NioCorp into the Project’s design and construction, the new approach could result in lower up-front capital and operating costs for the Project. More info here.
New Investor Outreach Efforts Continuing
NioCorp continues to operate a variety of investor outreach and education operations designed to spread the word on the Company and the Elk Creek Project all around the world. As part of these investor outreach operations, NioCorp has made many dozens of presentations in 2020 – one-on-one with investors, to groups of investors, and to large investor conferences – to continue spreading the word about the investment thesis of the Company. For example, NioCorp was invited to make presentations to these large investor conferences in 2020:
• 20th Annual H.C. Wainwright Global Investment Conference
• OTCQX Virtual Investor Conference
• Global Infrastructure Conference
MORE INFORMATION ON NIOCORP
Who We Are
NioCorp plans to produce three products at the Elk Creek, Nebraska Superalloy Materials Project that are all considered “critical minerals” by the U.S. Government. This makes the Elk Creek Project one of the few pure-play, greenfield critical mineral mines in the U.S. that has a NI-43-101 Feasibility Study completed and is ready for project financing and construction.
NioCorp’s Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project plans to produce commercial products from Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium, all of which have been designated as “Critical Minerals” by the U.S. Government. See this two-page backgrounder on our products and their many commercial applications.
Want to learn more about the Elk Creek Project? Go here to see a two-page backgrounder on the Project and why it represents a truly unique asset. A more detailed analysis can be found in the Elk Creek Feasibility Study Technical Report.
See this video to learn more about superalloys and their many applications, and take a virtual tour of NioCorp’s proposed Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project in southeast Nebraska.
The 2019 Elk Creek Feasibility Study provides an in-depth independent analysis of the Project. It determined a pre-tax Net Present Value (“NPV) at $2.57 billion and after-tax Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) of 25.8%. Gross revenue over the Project’s 36-year Life of Mine is $20.8 billion. Go here to see the news release summarizing the Feasibility Study findings. Go here to see the full Feasibility Study Technical Report.
NioCorp is committed to Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) principles as it proceeds toward development and commercial operation of its flagship Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project and continues to evolve from a developing company into an operating company with a global customer base. Go here to see a presentation about our ESG principles.
NioCorp has more shareholders in Nebraska than in any other geographic area in the world. State, county, and local government leaders have been enormously supportive of the Project and its promise to deliver substantial economic benefits to Nebraska. Go here to see a variety of comments on videos from Nebraskans expressing their views on NioCorp’s Elk Creek Project.
Source: NioCorp Developments Ltd.
@NioCorp $NB $NIOBF #Niobium #Scandium #ElkCreek
For More Information
Contact Jim Sims, VP of External Affairs, NioCorp Developments Ltd., 855-2-NIOCORP (855-264-6267)], email@example.com
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 can be combined with Aluminum to make super-high-performance 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 has extensive uses in aerospace, defense, transportation, medical, and other applications. It also is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics.
Neither TSX nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this communication. Certain statements contained in this communication may constitute forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based upon NioCorp’s reasonable expectations and business plan at the date hereof, which are subject to change depending on economic, political and competitive circumstances and contingencies. 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 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; and the risks involved in the exploration, development and mining business. 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.