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Testing underway for Elk Creek mining project
06/11/2021

(KLZA)-- NioCorp Developments has announced the initiation of testing of Elk Creek Project ore using High-Pressure Grinding Rolls technology. 

HPGR technology is an energy efficient and low-emission alternative for reducing the size of the ore to enable the recovery of niobium, scandium, titanium, and potential rare earth products.  The use of HPGR in the Project reinforces the Company's commitment to the environment and designing a sustainable operation. 

The testing is being conducted at the   Natural Resources Research Instituteof the University of Minnesota-Duluth, in partnership with Weir Minerals.  During the testing, which is expected to take several weeks, approximately 3 tons of Elk Creek drill core will be reduced to the 1-millimeter size needed for hydrometallurgical test work. 

 The network is expected to provide key data that will be used to properly size the HPGR unit for the potential ore throughput at the Elk Creek Project, once project financing is secured and the project is operational. 

The Company is currently evaluating the next steps in its overall metallurgical test work program, which will focus on optimizing and streamlining the existing processing flowsheet as well as establishing process routes for the potential recovery of rare earth products.

NioCorp is developing a superalloy materials project near Elk Creek, 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 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.   

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