As Printed in the Innovation News Network
By Jim Sims
VP, External Affairs, NioCorp Developments
Meeting forecast demand growth for electric vehicles will require a number of critical minerals and alloys. Not all are readily available from reliable supply chains. Do minerals buried beneath the farm fields of southeast Nebraska in the central US represent one of the keys to meeting this challenge?
In southeast Nebraska, a highly unique underground mineralogical structure known as the Elk Creek carbonatite deposit was created several hundreds of millions of years ago. This large carbonatite orebody hosts the Elk Creek Critical Minerals deposit, which is enriched in strategic metals such as niobium, scandium, titanium, and all of the rare earth elements. Together, these critical minerals represent some of the most vital ingredients to the success of a wide variety of greenhouse gas reducing technologies, including electric vehicles (EVs), renewable energy systems, light-weight transportation systems, and high-efficiency motors and appliances.
Why are these particular metals so important? What roles do they play in these technologies, and battery technology for electric vehicles in particular? What opportunities does their development present to manufacturers, consumers, government leaders, and investors?