A proposed rare earth mine in Nebraska has the potential to produce up to $17.6bn in revenue over a 32-year life span, according to a feasibility report from NioCorp Investment.
The Elk Creek mine, in Johnson County, will be the only noibium, scandium, titanium project in North America. The Elk Creek project is the highest-grade niobium project in North America, and the largest prospective producer of scandium in the world.
The feasibility report, which took three years to complete, has revealed that the project has an anticipated production of 7,055 tonnes per annum (tpa) of Ferroniobium, 103 tpa of Scandium Trioxide, and 11,445 tpa of Titanium Dioxide over its 32-year operating life.
“After a little more than three years of intense work and detailed independent analysis by dozens of technical experts, the Elk Creek Project feasibility study significantly de-risks this project and positions us to advance to the next stages – project financing and eventual construction start,” said NioCorp Executive Chair and CEO, Mark A. Smith, P.E., Esq.
“The primary goal of any project feasibility study is to de-risk the proposed project such that financing can be obtained,” said Mr. Smith.
“This feasibility study accomplishes that core goal. Coupled with the fact that we have commitments for 75% of our ferroniobium over the first 10 years – 50% going to ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products and 25% going to CMC Cometals of New Jersey – and that we have in hand a major federal government permit, this project is significantly de-risked at this stage. In particular, it will allow us to continue ongoing discussions with potential institutional investors in Europe and elsewhere, including with the German Government’s loan guarantee program, for which the Elk Creek Project has already received in-principle eligibility.”
What is Niobium?
Niobium production is a multi-billion dollar a year market that is essential to the automotive, pipeline and construction industries.
What is Scandium?
Scandium is a critical component in advanced fuel cell technologies and has numerous applications in the aerospace and transportation sectors.