NioCorp Obtains In-Principle Eligibility Approval for Cover Under the Federal Republic of Germany’s Untied Loan Guarantee; Appoints Northcott Capital as its Project Debt Financing Advisor
March 5, 2015 (Source: Marketwired) — NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company“) (TSX VENTURE:NB)(OTCQX:NIOBF)(FRANKFURT:BR3) On behalf of its shareholders, NioCorp is pleased to announce that it has obtained in-principle eligibility approval for a loan guarantee to be provided by the Federal Republic of Germany which will support the Company’s debt financing strategy. This approval, which is the first of four approvals, is based on the signed Offtake Agreement with ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products GmbH (“TK”) whereby TK has agreed to purchase approximately fifty percent of planned Ferro-Niobium production from Elk Creek for an initial ten year term, demonstrates that Elk Creek will contribute in securing strategic raw materials supplies for Germany and that the supply of Ferro-Niobium is in the economic interest of Germany.
NioCorp has also appointed Northcott Capital Limited as its financial advisor with respect to project debt financing for the development of the Elk Creek Ferro-Niobium project.
“This in-principle eligibility approval for a loan guarantee by the Federal Republic of Germany continues to demonstrate a strong level of confidence in NioCorp and its Elk Creek project. In addition, we are pleased to be working with an adviser of the caliber of Northcott Capital to assist us in securing the necessary debt financing for the Elk Creek project” Said NioCorp’s Executive Chairman, Mark Smith. Smith also noted that Northcott Capital has significant recent experience in securing mining project finance linked to off take deals in the specialty metals sector and their appointment supports NioCorp’s aim of completing the project feasibility studies and project financing by late 2015 or early 2016. Smith also went on to say “we are working hard to think ahead and stay ahead wherever possible to meet our stated goals for NioCorp”.
About the Company: NioCorp is developing the only primary niobium deposit known to be under development in the U.S., and the highest grade undeveloped niobium deposit in North America, located near Elk Creek, Nebraska. The Company is announcing an NI43-101 compliant resource with an effective date of February 20, 2015 reporting an Indicated Resource of 80.5 million tonnes grading 0.71% Nb2O5, 2.68% TiO2 and 72 ppm Sc and an Inferred Resource of 99.6 million tonnes grading 0.56% Nb2O5, 2.31% TiO2 and 63 ppm Sc (at a 0.3% Nb2O5 cutoff grade). Niobium is mainly used in the form of Ferro-Niobium to produce HSLA (High Strength, Low Alloy) steel, which is a lighter, stronger steel used in automotive, structural and pipeline applications. The U.S. imports 100% of its niobium needs. Titanium in the form of an oxide is used extensively as a pigment in paints, plastics and papers. As a metal, titanium is used in aerospace applications, armor, chemical processing applications, marine hardware applications, medical implants, power generation and in sporting goods. Scandium is used in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and aluminum-scandium alloys, as well as in ceramics, electronics, lasers and lighting applications.
About Northcott Capital Limited: Northcott Capital is a specialist independent financial advisory group focused on securing and arranging project funding within the mining sector. Northcott have a global network of senior executives who bring an unrivalled breadth and depth of experience in both the technical and financial facets of project funding. The combination of international mining expertise and financial know-how allows its clients to access global sources of capital to take the project into production and build a sound financial basis for the future- whatever it may bring. Northcott’s team have a long record of successful project funding and development having collectively raised over USD15bn for 55 transactions across 37 countries.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Peter Dickie, Director, President and Corporate Secretary
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based upon NioCorp’s reasonable expectations and business plan at the date hereof, which are subject to change depending on economic, political and competitive circumstances and contingencies. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause a change in such assumptions and the actual outcomes and estimates to be materially different from those estimated or anticipated future results, achievements or position expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause NioCorp’s plans or prospects to change include changes in demand for and price of commodities (such as fuel and electricity) and currencies; changes or disruptions in the securities markets; legislative, political or economic developments; the need to obtain permits and comply with laws and regulations and other regulatory requirements; the possibility that actual results of work may differ from projections/expectations or may not realize the perceived potential of NioCorp’s projects; risks of accidents, equipment breakdowns and labour disputes or other unanticipated difficulties or interruptions; the possibility of cost overruns or unanticipated expenses in development programs; operating or technical difficulties in connection with exploration, mining or development activities; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of diminishing quantities of grades of reserves and resources; and the risks involved in the exploration, development and mining business. NioCorp disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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