NioCorp Completes Offtake Agreement With ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products for 50% of Its planned Ferro-Niobium Production
December 15, 2014 (Source: Marketwired) — NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company“) (TSX VENTURE:NB)(OTCQX:NIOBF)(FRANKFURT:BR3) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an offtake agreement (“Agreement”) with ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products GmbH whereby ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products will purchase approximately 3,750 metric tons or roughly fifty percent (50%) of NioCorp’s planned Ferro-Niobium production from its Elk Creek deposit for an initial ten year term, with an option to extend beyond that time-frame. The Agreement presupposes the Company obtaining project financing, obtaining all necessary approvals and constructing a mine at Elk Creek.
Thyssen Krupp Metallurgical Products is one of the world’s leading commodity trading companies. Based in Essen, Germany, the company is part of the Business Area Materials Services, a global materials distributor and service provider with 500 branches in 44 countries.
The Company has appointed ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products as its exclusive sales agent of its production in Europe, with a stated amount to be sold in Germany. Both companies will work closely together to support Niocorp’s project financing; this explicitly includes not only debt, but also possibilities of equity financing and potential government loans.
“We are extremely pleased to have one of the world’s leading commodity trading company as a significant customer. Our team looks forward to building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products,” said Mark Smith, CEO of NioCorp. “This Agreement is obviously conditional on the Company obtaining project financing to build a mine at Elk Creek. However, having the Agreement in place and discussing debt and equity financing possibilities with ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products, clearly enhances NioCorp’s prospects of achieving those milestones,” continued Smith. “We caution that achieving this is not assured at this time, as we have not concluded the feasibility stage; the process commenced in the spring of this year and is expected to conclude in the first half of 2015. However, entering into this Agreement provides us with confidence that we are pursuing the right strategic plan and lends credibility to the Company,” said Smith.
Pursuant to the Agreement, the Company has also granted ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products a non-transferable warrant entitling ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products to acquire 8,569,000 common shares of the Company at an exercise price of CAD $0.67 per common share, resulting in proceeds of US $5,000,000 should all warrants be exercised. The warrants are open for exercise until December 12, 2015.
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NioCorp is developing the only primary niobium deposit known to be under development in the United States, and the highest grade undeveloped niobium deposit in North America, located near Elk Creek, Nebraska. The Company has completed an updated NI43-101 compliant resource report, available on SEDAR, reporting an Indicated resource of 28.2 Million Tonnes grading 0.63% Nb2O5, containing 177 Million Kg’s of Nb2O5, and an Inferred resource of 132.8 Million Tonnes grading 0.55% Nb2O5, containing 733.7 Million Kg’s of Nb2O5, (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, to produce lighter, stronger steel for use in automotive, structural and pipeline industries. The U.S. imports 100% of its niobium needs.
Peter Dickie, President, Corporate Secretary and Director
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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