Nebraska Regulators Advise NioCorp that the Elk Creek Project's Air Construction Permit No Longer Requires Time Extensions to Remain in Force
Development Further De-Risks the Project from a Regulatory Perspective
CENTENNIAL, Colo., April 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- NioCorp Developments Ltd. ("NioCorp" or the "Company") (TSX: NB; OTCQX: NIOBF) is pleased to announce that the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy ("NDEE") has advised the Company that extensions of the Elk Creek Project's (the "Project") construction air permit are no longer required because the Company has met the regulatory definition of "construction, reconstruction, or modification of the source" since the permit was issued. This development further de-risks the Project from a regulatory perspective.
NioCorp's air construction permit was issued by the NDEE in June 2020. NDEE granted NioCorp a four-month extension in November 2021.
After consulting this week with NDEE officials, NioCorp provided a notice to the NDEE that the Company has satisfied the Department's applicable regulatory criteria based upon the following factors:
- NioCorp has contracted with the Project's two primary Engineering, Procurement, and Construction ("EPC") contractors: Zachry Group of San Antonio, Texas, and Cementation USA Inc., based in Sandy, Utah;
- NioCorp has contracts in place for the sale of much of the critical minerals it expects to produce;
- NioCorp has purchased the key piece of property needed for the Project; and
- NioCorp has installed perimeter fencing and security systems around the Project.
"I want to thank the NDEE for their professionalism and attention to detail throughout the permitting process," said Scott Honan, NioCorp's Chief Operating Officer. "We very much look forward to ramping up our construction activity at the site as soon as possible once we secure sufficient financing."
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Contact Jim Sims, VP of External Affairs, NioCorp Developments Ltd., 303-503-6203, [email protected]
NioCorp is developing a superalloy materials project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium. Also under consideration by the Company is the production of several magnetic rare earth products. 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 is also 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. Magnetic rare earths, such as Neodymium, Praseodymium, Terbium, and Dysprosium are critical to the making of Neodymium-Iron-Boron ("NdFeB") magnets, which are used across a wide variety of defense and civilian applications.
Certain statements contained in this news release may constitute forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the need for NioCorp to continue seeking time extensions of its Nebraska construction air permit to remain in force, and the Company's anticipation of receiving sufficient financing necessary to commence construction-related activities at the Project site. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by the Company in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that the Company believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause a change in such forward-looking statements 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 risks related to the Company's ability to operate as a going concern; risks related to the Company's requirement of significant additional capital; changes in demand for and price of commodities (such as fuel and electricity) and currencies; changes in economic valuations of the Project, such as Net Present Value calculations, 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 in the Company's filings with Canadian securities regulators at www.sedar.com and 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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SOURCE NioCorp Developments Ltd.