CENTENNIAL, Colo., Jan. 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company”) (TSX:NB) (OTCQX:NIOBF) (FSE:BR3) is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of negotiations with private landowners in the Elk Creek, Nebraska area that will allow the Company to purchase land needed for the preferred layout of the Elk Creek Superalloys Project’s (the “Project”) underground mine and surface processing facility. Securing access to these land parcels helps to advance the Elk Creek Project Feasibility Study, which is nearing completion.
Initial construction activities related to the Project are currently planned to launch in 2017, subject to the issuance of a positive Feasibility Study for the Project, success in the Company’s capital fundraising efforts, permit approvals, and other factors listed below in the Company’s “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”
A total of 21 “Option to Purchase” agreements have been signed with private landowners in the project area. These agreements cover 4,078 acres (1,749 hectares) and provide the Company with exclusive mineral exploration rights as well as the exclusive right to acquire the mineral rights, surface rights and, in most cases, both the mineral and surface rights at any time during the five year terms of the agreements. The price the Company would pay to acquire the rights is determined according to a formula that is fixed in each agreement. The agreements cover all of the Mineral Resources reported in the Company’s October 2015 Preliminary Economic Assessment report.
“I am very pleased that we have reached these agreements with local landowners in Nebraska, as building such strong working partnerships with area residents has been one of our top priorities from the very beginning,” said Mark A. Smith, Executive Chairman and CEO of NioCorp. “This success is a direct result of the hard work and strict adherence to our core values of honesty and integrity that Scott Honan and his team have followed from day one.”
Mr. Smith continued: “Excitement is clearly building in Nebraska as we continue to advance the Project to construction launch, hopefully later this year. We are thrilled with the prospect of creating new jobs – many of which will be high-skill, high-wage positions – initiating new job training programs, providing a local and regional economic stimulus, and generating new revenue to state and local governments. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with local communities and area residents as we move this project to commercial operation.”
County rights of way and a small number of land access agreements related to the Company’s proposed waterline to the Missouri River are in negotiation and are expected to be completed prior to commencement of mine dewatering operations.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors,
Executive Chairman, CEO, and Director
Source: NioCorp Developments Ltd.
@NioCorp $NB $NIOBF $BR3 #Niobium #Scandium #ElkCreek
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 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; the risks involved in the exploration, development and mining business, and the risks set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s S-1 registration statement and other filings with the SEC at www.sec.gov. 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.
Cautionary Note Regarding Mineral Resource Estimates
The Company filed a technical report on SEDAR dated October 16, 2015 entitled “Amended NI 43-101 Technical Report – Updated Preliminary Economic Assessment – Elk Creek Niobium Project – Nebraska” (October 15, 2015 PEA”). This preliminary economic assessment is preliminary in nature and it includes a level of engineering precision and assumptions which are currently considered too speculative to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable Mineral Resources to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is no certainty that the economic estimates and projections in the preliminary economic assessment will be realized and investors should consider such estimates and projections to be highly speculative. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic or legal viability. Niocorp has classified NI 43-101 Inferred Mineral Resources and Indicated Mineral Resources at Elk Creek that are disclosed within the Preliminary Economic Assessment; however, Inferred Mineral Resources are not included in the mine plan for the October 15, 2015 PEA. The Elk Creek Project is exploratory in nature and investors should not assume that Mineral Resources at the project will ever be converted to Mineral Reserves with demonstrated economic and legal viability. The pricing of scandium is a significant portion of the Project revenue, and achieving the revenue projected in the October 2015 PEA is subject to market growth in scandium, which is a developing market with a risk of oversupply and/or undersupply disrupting pricing.
The Mineral Resource estimates and economic assessments in this presentation have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements of United States securities laws. These definitions for Mineral Resources differ from the definitions in the SEC Industry Guide 7 under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Under SEC Industry Guide 7 standards, a “final” or “bankable” feasibility study is required to report Mineral Reserves, the three-year historical average price is used in any reserve or cash flow analysis to designate reserves and the primary environmental analysis or report must be filed with the appropriate governmental authority.
The terms “mineral resource,” “measured mineral resource,” “indicated mineral resource” and “inferred mineral resource” are defined in, and required to be disclosed by NI 43-101; however, these terms are not defined terms under SEC Industry Guide 7 and are normally not permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a mineral deposit in these categories will ever be converted into mineral reserves. “Inferred mineral resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian securities laws and regulations, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, except in rare cases. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource exists or is economically or legally mineable.
Accordingly, information contained in this document incorporated by reference herein contain descriptions of our mineral deposits that may not be comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements under the United States federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.