NioCorp Files Permit Application with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its Elk Creek Project Waterline
CENTENNIAL, Colo., March 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company”) (TSX:NB) (OTCQX:NIOBF) (FSE:BR3) announces that it has submitted a Pre-Construction Notification (PCN) permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) for its proposed waterline from its Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project (the “Project”) to the Missouri River.
The PCN filed by NioCorp with the USACE covers the outfall structure portion of the Project’s waterline in the Missouri River. Under current federal law (40CFR330.1 (e)), NioCorp may presume that the PCN qualifies for the USACE’s Nationwide Permit 12 (Utility Line Activities) unless it is notified by the USACE within 45 calendar days. If the USACE notifies NioCorp that the notification is incomplete, one additional 45-day period commences upon receipt of the revised notification.
The remainder of the proposed 33-mile waterline is able to move forward under non-notifying parameters of Nationwide Permit 12, given that it involves no permanent impacts to wetlands and stream channels and will have only temporary impacts during construction. Additionally, NioCorp’s proposed underground mine, surface processing facilities, and tailings impoundment are estimated to result in zero permanent impacts to any federally jurisdictional waters, and thus will need no discretionary permit from the USACE.
The fact that most of the Elk Creek Project can be constructed under a non-notifying USACE Nationwide Permit is due to the Company’s success in recent months in reducing the Project’s projected impacts on federally regulated waters. Those advances include: (1) using less water to recover the facility’s primary commercial product (Niobium), which reduces the size of a number of major pieces of equipment in the facility; (2) recycling a portion of process remains that normally would go to tailings into useful materials needed for superalloy metal manufacturing; (3) elimination of a previously planned railroad spur line and associated infrastructure. These and other advances were previously announced by the Company and are summarized here.
“Scott Honan and his team have worked very hard to continue reducing the environmental footprint of the Elk Creek Project, and that’s why we qualify for this more rapid and streamlined permitting process from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Mark A. Smith, CEO and Executive Chairman of NioCorp. “We want to do the right thing for the environment, and that is a key reason why we invested more time and resources into further optimizing our plans for the Elk Creek mine and processing facility and the waterline. Those optimizations are resulting in a more efficient permitting process, and that is a win for the Project, for the environment, and for southeast Nebraska.”
The Elk Creek Project must still obtain a number of state and local permits prior to construction and operation. These include water, air quality, and other permits from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and other agencies. Local permits also will be required. A number of these state and local permitting processes are already underway.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors,
Executive Chairman, CEO, and Director
Qualified Persons: Brian Osborn, BSc., CHMM, of Olsson Associates, a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, is responsible for the environmental permitting of the Elk Creek project, and has read and approved the technical information contained in this news release.
@NioCorp $NB $NIOBF #Niobium #Scandium #ElkCreek
For More Information:
Contact Jim Sims, VP of External Affairs, NioCorp Developments Ltd., 720-639-4650, 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 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 NioCorp’s ability to secure permits necessary to enable the Project to be constructed and to operate, and the scope and timing of such permits. 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 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.
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