Mark Smith on NioCorp’s recent niobium resource updates and “outstanding” titanium and scandium deposits
March 5, 2015 — In a special InvestorIntel interview, Publisher Tracy Weslosky speaks with Mark Smith of NioCorp Developments Ltd. (TSXV: NB | OTCQX: NIOBF) on the recent Elk Creek niobium mineral resource update, which includes both a world class titanium and scandium deposit.
Tracy Weslosky: Mark, you just announced a second resource update that now turns you into a world-class scandium and titanium deposit. Can you talk to us about this please?
Mark A. Smith: It was very good news obviously. I should probably apologize to everyone that we ended up with two press releases on the resource estimate, but we just could not get the assay results back fast enough on the scandium and the titanium. We have an outstanding resources for scandium and an outstanding resource for titanium in addition to the niobium. The good news is that the recovery of both the scandium and the titanium will have zero impact on the recovery of niobium. We really got the metallurgy for all three of those minerals figured out. We will continue to scale up our testing of those metallurgical processes, but they all seem to be very independent in terms of how we’re processing them and the recoverability.
Tracy Weslosky: Of course this was the second news release. The first one was about a substantial change in your resource tonnage increase. For anyone who may have missed that particular news release, can you just back us up and give us an overview on this one as well.
Mark A. Smith: Tracy as you know we did a three phase drilling program. In the first phase of our drilling, which occurred, kind of, in the summer of last year, although it had resource implications to it, the primary drivers in the first six holes were geotechnical and hydrogeological so that information could then go feed into the feasibility study. We went ahead and issued an updated resource report in September on the basis that the phase one drill results. We were very happy with those drill results, but, you know, I would have to be the first to say that they didn’t wow anybody when we issued those drill results. We went ahead and finished phase two of the drilling. We finished phase three of the drilling. Then we put those two phases together in a new resource update that we issued about 2 weeks ago. As we suspected we ended up with a wow press release where, you know, we doubled and tripled the sizes of the ore body and the contained metal. Our ore grade also increased. This was very good news, not only for the company, but for the people who design that drilling program with such a tight scope and obviously really good for our shareholders. That’s who we serve so we’re happy to treat our shareholders that way. We’ll continue to do the work necessary to increase value. That’s what it’s all about.
Tracy Weslosky: While speaking about increasing value, this particular headline said 187% increase in an indicated resource tonnage and, of course, 226% increase in your niobium, correct?
Mark A. Smith: Yeah, that’s correct. Those are some pretty big numbers, no doubt about it. It really turns this resource into a very real resource for project purposes now…to access the rest of this interview, click here
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Tracy Weslosky is the founder and CEO for InvestorIntel Corp. (2001-Present), a leading online source of investor information that since 2001 has provided public market ... <Read more about Tracy Weslosky>