NioCorp Files NI 43-101 Feasibility Study for the Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project






NioCorp Developments Ltd. (TSX: NB) (OTCQX: NIOBF) (FSE: BR3) is pleased to announce that it has filed a CIM-compliant Technical Report prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 regarding a Feasibility Study completed for the Company’s Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project.


The Report supports the Company’s June 30, 2017 news release that provided high-level results of the Feasibility Study.  The full Report can be seen on SEDAR here and on the Company’s website at www.niocorp.com.


Key findings of the Report include these:



  • Financial Returns:  Pre-tax net present value of $2.3 billion, at an 8% discount rate, with an internal rate of return of 24.3%, and after-tax NPV of $1.7 billion, at an 8% discount rate, with an IRR of 21.7%, and an effective tax rate of 24.1%.
  • Revenue:  Gross Run Of Mine revenue of $17.6 billion, with operating margin of $12.2 billion.
  • CAPEX:  Up-front direct capital costs of $705 million, in addition to indirect costs of $189 million, pre-production capital costs of $85 million, contingency of $109 million, and pre-production net revenue credit of $79 million.
  • EBITDA:  Averaged Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Interest (“EBITDA”) is $389.6 million per year over ROM.  The averaged EBITDA margin (EBITDA as a percent of total revenue) for the project over ROM is 69.5%.[i]
  • Pre-Tax Payback Period From Production Onset:  3.4 years (3.7 years after-tax).
  • Production:  On an annual averaged basis, estimated production and revenues are as follows: 

    • Ferroniobium:  annualized production rate of 7,055 tonnes at an averaged realized price of $39.60 per kilogram (“kg”) for contained niobium (65%), yielding annual gross revenue of $183.4 million.
    • Scandium Trioxide (“Sc2O3”):  annualized production rate of 103 tonnes at an averaged realized price of $3,675/kg of Sc2O3, yielding annual gross revenue of $378.3 million.
    • Titanium Dioxide (“TiO2”): annualized production rate of 11,445 tonnes per year at an averaged realized price of $0.88/kg TiO2, yielding annual gross revenue of $10.1 million. 
  • Production Costs (net of TiO2 byproduct credit):

    • $12.14/kg of niobium on a niobium-equivalent basis.
    • $1,126/kg of Sc2O3 on a Sc2O3-equivalent basis.
  • Mine Life:  32 years, producing over the ROM approximately 143,824 tonnes of payable niobium, 3,237 tonnes of Sc2O3, and 359,128 tonnes of TiO2.
  • Mineral Resources and Reserves:  Probable Reserves of 31.7 million tonnes of ore at 0.79% niobium (Nb2O5), 71.6 grams per tonne (g/t) scandium (Sc), and 2.81% iO2.  Total Indicated Mineral Resources are 90.9 million tonnes at 0.66% Nb2O5, 70 g/t Sc, and 2.59% TiO2, with Inferred Resources of 133.6 million tonnes at 0.48% Nb2O5, 59 g/t Sc, and 2.23% TiO2.[ii]  Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of Mineral Reserves.  Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves have an effective date of May 15, 2017.



“The Elk Creek Project is highly unique on many levels, and one of the most powerful aspects of the project is that it enjoys a level of project de-risking that is one of the best I have seen,” said NioCorp Executive Chair and CEO Mark A. Smith.  “The Project has 75% of its Ferroniobium product under contract.  It has a key federal permit already in hand.  It enjoys strong local community support, and support from both political parties.  It now has a very detailed Feasibility Study that was completed after just over three years of work.  This project is ready to move forward.”

“The filing of our NI 43-101 Technical Report allows us to accelerate our ongoing discussions with potential institutional investors in the U.S, Asia, Europe, and elsewhere, including with the German Government’s loan guarantee program,” Mr. Smith added.


About NioCorp


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 steel, which is a lighter, stronger steel used in automotive, structural, and pipeline applications.  Scandium can be combined with Aluminum to make super-high-performance 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 has extensive uses in aerospace, defense, transportation, medical, and other applications. It also is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics.

Posted August 11, 2017


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