CENTENNIAL, Colo., April 25, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company”) (TSX:NB) (OTCQX: NIOBF) (FSE:BR3) has announced that a solvent extraction pilot plant for the recovery of scandium has been successfully completed. The pilot plant is a key component of the metallurgical development and design program that will lead to the completion of the Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Feasibility Study.
Between April 18 and 22, 2016, a continuous solvent extraction pilot was operated at the SGS–Lakefield metallurgical testing facility in Lakefield, Ontario. The pilot plant treated approximately 1,000 liters of scandium-bearing solution derived from the Elk Creek resource. Preliminary results show that scandium extraction was measured between 95.3% and 99.4% during the five-day pilot run. Further assay tests will finalize extraction rates.
The pilot plant operated smoothly, Company officials said, and established operating conditions that demonstrated excellent phase separation between aqueous and organic streams. The plant produced approximately seven liters of an organic solution loaded with scandium that will in turn be used in solvent extraction stripping studies.
Niocorp plans to produce 97 tonnes/year of scandium trioxide from its Elk Creek Superalloy Materials facility once the facility is up to full-scale production. More detail on NioCorp’s production plans can be seen here.
“I am extremely pleased that our scandium solvent extraction pilot plant was completed successfully,” said Mark A. Smith, Executive Chairman and CEO of NioCorp. “We look forward to rapidly completing the remaining pilot and bench testing that will provide the necessary data to finalize the design of the scandium recovery operations for the Elk Creek Feasibility Study.”
Executive Chairman, CEO, and Director
Qualified Persons: Eric Larochelle, B.Eng of SMH Process Innovation, a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, is responsible for the Elk Creek hydrometallurgical program and has read and approved the technical information contained in this news release.
Source: NioCorp Developments Ltd.
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For More Information: Contact Jim Sims, VP of External Affairs, NioCorp Developments Ltd., 720-639-4650, 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.
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 release. Certain statements contained in this press release 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.