Pilot Plant Successfully Regenerates Acid Used in the Superalloy Production Process, Which Will Help to Reduce Operating Costs in the Elk Creek Facility
CENTENNIAL, Colo., Nov. 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company”) (TSX:NB) (OTCQX:NIOBF) (FSE:BR3) is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the Acid Regeneration Pilot Plant that has produced hydrochloric acid under continuous conditions. The pilot plant was constructed and operated at the SGS facility in Lakefield, Ontario.
The pilot plant operated continuously from October 17 through October 22, 2016. Sulphuric acid was used to regenerate the hydrochloric acid used in the Company’s Pre Leach operation, which is the key first step in the Superalloy materials recovery process. Data from the pilot demonstrates that 99.94% of the hydrochloric acid used in the Pre Leach operation can be regenerated.
“The Acid Regeneration Pilot Plant has demonstrated a very efficient process for regenerating the acid that is utilized in Pre Leaching,” said Mark A. Smith, Executive Chairman and CEO of NioCorp. “By efficiently regenerating acid in the plant, we will minimize the need for acid purchased from third parties, and lower our prospective operating costs.”
The company continues to pursue the final metallurgical pilot plants necessary to complete the Elk Creek Project Feasibility Study, including those related to recycling sulphuric acid used in the Elk Creek production process and additional Scandium recovery and purification operations.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors,
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.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
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 document. Certain statements contained in this document may constitute forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements regarding the successful operation of acid regeneration and other production-related processes when they are deployed at commercial scale in the Elk Creek project, the ability of the Company to reduce expected operating costs when deployed at commercial scale in the Elk Creek project, potential future production at the Elk Creek Project, anticipated products to be produced at the Elk Creek Project, the future critical and strategic nature of niobium and scandium, expected growing demand for metals to be produced at the Elk Creek Project, potential future customers for such metals, stable future pricing for ferroniobium, NioCorp potentially being the only producer of ferroniobium and scandium in the United States, estimated resources at the Elk Creek Project, future state and local support of the Elk Creek Project, potential returns for investors, anticipated costs of production at the Elk Creek Project being competitive, anticipated competitive advantages, expected date for beginning future commercial production, the timing, completion and results of a feasibility study for the Elk Creek Project, and results and estimates in the Preliminary Economic Assessment, including but not limited to, potential life of mine, pre-tax Net Present Value (NPV), after-tax NPV, Internal Rate of Return and estimated cash flows from production. 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.