NioCorp Developments Ltd. is pleased to share the results of rare earth assays on drill core samples from the Elk Creek Project that were obtained through an agreement with the University of Nebraska’s Conservation and Survey Division (CSD). These samples came from the Elk Creek Project.
A total of 1,094 samples from 18 diamond drill holes completed by previous operators of the project were obtained by the Company and CSD as part of an agreement. They were tested for rare earth elements at Actlabs in Ancaster, Ontario. The assay results went through a Quality Assurance and Quality Control program that was in line with industry best practices.
These new assay results go along with the analysis the company did of all of the rare earth data from the project. The company looked at the geological and metallurgical evaluation of all the data.
Because of this most recent work, the rare earth assay data set is now complete for the purpose of figuring out how much rare earth there could be in the area where niobium, scandium, and titanium were found at the Elk Creek Project. To make sure that NioCorp’s existing mineral resource is up to date, it needs to include more information about rare earth content. If this can be done, the update should show the average content (ore grade, or PPM) and total contained tonnage of each rare earth element in the Mineral Resource.
NioCorp is also working on a technical work plan that includes metallurgical tests, mineral resource and reserve calculations, and more market research on rare earths. This is in addition to the work being done by independent geologic consultants on a possible updated Mineral Resource with rare earth data added.
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He said: “I am very happy that we have taken this important step toward developing a rare earth component to the mineral resource and reserve for NioCorp’s Elk Creek Project. This is a big step in the right direction.” Elk Creek could become a US producer of the magnetic rare earths if our rare earth content is found to be rich enough to justify extracting rare earths as a byproduct of the production of niobium, scandium, and titanium, and if enough money can be found for the project.
“In fact, our polymetallic deposit has a wide range of some of the most important critical metals that are needed for electric transportation and other green technologies,” Smith said. This includes heavy magnetic rare earths like dysprosium and terbium, which are only made in commercial amounts in Asia. Political risk is a concern when it comes to the supply chain of heavy rare earths. For example, Myanmar is seen as having a high political risk. The more important minerals we make in the United States, the better we will be able to quickly make many climate-friendly technologies with minerals made in the United States.