NioCorp confirms Elk Creek is second largest rare earths resource in US

NioCorp Developments has published an updated feasibility study on its Elk Creek project which has revealed that it contains the second largest indicated-or-better rare earth resource in the US.

According to the study, Elk Creek – located in Nebraska – contains an estimated 632.9 kilotonnes of contained total rare earth oxides (niobium, scandium and titanium) in the indicated mineral resource category, putting it behind only MP Materials’ Mountain Pass deposit in California.

The project’s after-tax net present value has also increased by 12% to US$2.35 billion on the 2019 feasibility study, and the mine life now stands at 38 years.

“The results of this updated feasibility study are very good news, and they validate our belief that the Elk Creek ore body represents one of America’s largest indicated rare earth resources,” CEO Mark Smith said in a statement.

Once financing is secured, there is potential for NioCorp’s rare earth elements (REEs) to be mined, crushed and placed into solution as part of the primary niobium, scandium, and titanium production process, the company said.

“With the addition of the magnetic rare earths, the Elk Creek project will stand out from virtually every other greenfield project in the US in terms of its potential ability to produce multiple critical minerals that are essential to electrified transportation, renewable energy production, green mega-infrastructure projects, and many other applications that are in increasing demand around the world,” Smith said.