CENTENNIAL, COLORADO -- (Marketwired) -- 11/23/15 -- NioCorp Developments Ltd. ("NioCorp" or the "Company") (TSX: NB)(OTCQX: NIOBF)(FRANKFURT: BR3) is pleased to announce it has reached an agreement on the major commercial terms of a convertible security investment (the "Investment") with a New York-based institutional fund manager of up to US$10.5 million in NioCorp. Finalization of the Investment remains subject to the investor's final due diligence review, approval by investor's investment committee, TSX approval, and finalization of a security package for the Investment.
"We are very pleased to be nearing finalization on this financing package with a sophisticated institutional investor," said Mark A. Smith, NioCorp's Executive Chairman. "We look forward to shortly announcing full details of this financing and to continuing to progress toward completion of a bankable feasibility study for our Elk Creek, Nebraska niobium / scandium / titanium project."
According to NioCorp's October 2015 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), its Elk Creek project is projected to have a pre-tax net present value (NPV) of US$3.07 billion (US$2.30 billion after-tax), a pre-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 31.7% (27.6% after-tax), and average pre-tax cash flow of US$438 million per year after upfront capital costs of US$979 million. These projections were calculated using an 8% discount rate.
The project is expected to produce 7,490 tonnes per annum (tpa) of Ferroniobium, 97 tpa of Scandium Trioxide and 23,960 tpa of Titanium Dioxide over a 32-year operating life, according to the October 2015 PEA. Niobium is a crucial component in high strength, low-alloy ("HSLA") steels for bridges and buildings, high pressure oil and gas pipelines, lightweight and fuel efficient cars and is also used in the manufacture of stainless steel, MRI machines, wind turbines and jet engines. Scandium is used as an alloy with aluminum, dramatically increasing strength and weldability while improving corrosion resistance. Its properties are useful in the aerospace and transportation industries, and are critical in advanced fuel cell technologies.
There can be no assurance that the Investment will close, as execution of definitive agreements, completion of due diligence, and receipt of TSX acceptance are still required.
Source: NioCorp Developments, Ltd.
$NB $NIOBF Niobium Scandium ElkCreek
Jeff Osborn, BSc Mining, MMSAQP of SRK Consulting (U.S.), Inc., a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has overall responsibility for SRK portions of the October 2015 Elk Creek PEA and has read and approved the technical information contained in this news release.
NioCorp is developing the Elk Creek Niobium / Scandium / Titanium project in Southeast Nebraska. Niobium is used to produce High Strength, Low Alloy ("HSLA") steel, which is a lighter, stronger steel used in automotive, structural, and pipeline applications. Scandium can be combined with Aluminum to make an alloy with increased strength and improved corrosion resistance. Scandium is also a critical component of advanced solid oxide fuel cells. Titanium is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics and is also used for aerospace applications, armor and medical implants.
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 release. The Mineral Resource presented in the October 2015 PEA has been reported following CIM guidelines. The October 2015 PEA 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. Inferred Mineral Resources are not included in the mine plan for the October 2015 PEA. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The October 2015 PEA includes price and market assumptions concerning an expanded demand in the scandium market. There is no certainty that the October 2015 PEA will be realized. Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. 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 the commodities being explored and proposed for development by NioCorp - niobium, titanium, and scandium) 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.
In particular, there is no assurance that the proposed financing will complete, as it is subject to completion of due diligence, approval by the investment committee of the potential investor and approval by the TSX. 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 revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
VP of External Affairs
NioCorp Developments, Ltd.