NioCorp’s Mark Smith on the rising global interest in superalloys scandium and niobium
InvestorIntel interview, Publisher Tracy Weslosky speaks with Mark Smith President and Executive Chairman of NioCorp Developments Ltd. (TSX:NB | OTCQX:NIOBF | FSE:BR3) about the recent successful CAD$11.5 million raise in support of the Elk Creek superalloy initiatives. They also discuss the merits of the project, sustainability and increased global market attention in NioCorp’s super alloys: scandium, niobium and titanium.
Tracy Weslosky: Mark there’s been so much news with NioCorp lately and, I want to start with the fact that you managed to raise $11.5 million recently for NioCorp with the leadership team and obviously with the super alloys that you have, can you tell us a little bit more about this?
Mark A. Smith: It was very difficult because of the market conditions at the time, but as I’ve said before, this project speaks for itself. When you let people know the facts of this project, the wonderful world-class resource we have out in the southeast corner of Nebraska, the people that want to work for this company and we’ve hired to really run this project to ground and get up and operating, it’s very compelling and people support it. They’ve proven once again that when we need to raise money to continue the efforts on the feasibility study they’re there to support it and it’s because they really believe in the project.
Tracy Weslosky: You just put out a recent announcement, about the super alloys that NioCorp has. You’ve got the scandium, niobium and titanium. I’d love it if I you give our InvestorIntel audience an update on what NioCorp actually has, the advantage.
Mark A. Smith: Well, the advantage is, again, you start with ore grade. You know, that’s one of those things you learn early on in the mining industry, ore grade is king. Well, we’ve got very good ore grades for all three of those elements in our deposit. We’ve got a fantastic location. I mean the people in southeast Nebraska — you couldn’t ask for better support. We’ve got a town hall that we’ve announced for next week that’s coming up and it’s oversubscribed by the local citizens. The little town of Elk Creek has about 110 people in it. We have 275 people already registered and RSVP’d for this town hall because the entire local community supports it and they want to know what’s going on. About every 6 to 8 months we try to do a town hall so all part of that open communication and honesty with the local people. They respect it, we respect them and we’re working well together.
Tracy Weslosky: Well, in addition, of course, to having community support for your project, the industry is watching you very closely. There’s quite a bit of buzz actually about scandium. Would you mind talking to us about the supply and demand issues related to scandium because, you know, we’re finding that we’re getting a lot of inquiries about this right now?
Mark A. Smith: It’s a really exciting part of the project. We still consider niobium to be our base material, great foundation for any project because it’s a very good ore grade and it’s a very stable price for this material so banks are supportive, investors are supportive…to access the complete interview, click here
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