EDITOR: | February 9th, 2015

NioCorp Updates Elk Creek Niobium Resource

| February 09, 2015 | No Comments
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NioCorp-Developments-200x150February 9, 2015 (Source: Marketwired) — 187% Increase in Indicated Resource Tonnage; 226% Increase in Indicated Nb2O5

NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company“) (TSX VENTURE:NB)(OTCQX:NIOBF)(FRANKFURT:BR3) is pleased to announce an updated NI43-101 resource estimate for the Elk Creek niobium deposit (the “Deposit”).

Commencing in May 2014 and finishing in December 2014, the Company completed an 18-hole, three-phase infill drilling program. In those 18 holes, 15,381 meters of drilling was completed. This drilling program has provided data to support the updated resource estimate for the Deposit presented below, and has also provided important information on the hydrology, metallurgy, geochemistry and geotechnical properties of the Elk Creek resource. This data is being used to advance the design of an underground mine and ferroniobium production plant for the project. The drilling has also established that the Deposit remains open at depth, as well as to the northwest and southeast.

SRK Consulting (“SRK”) of Lakewood, Colorado and Cardiff, UK has completed an updated resource estimate according to CIM Standards. A formal NI 43-101 report will be published shortly.

The updated resource estimate for the Elk Creek Deposit is summarized in Table 1 below. The updated estimate reflects the 13 holes that were completed as part of the Company’s Phase II and Phase III drill programs. The data collected from these additional holes has been combined with the data from the Phase I program (5 holes) which formed the basis for the Company’s previous resource estimate dated September 9, 2014. Indicated tonnage has increased from 28.2 million tonnes to 81.2 million tonnes and the indicated grade has increased from 0.63% Nb2O5 to 0.71% Nb2O5 when compared to the September 9, 2014 Mineral Resource estimate. Consequently, the contained Nb2O5 in the Indicated Mineral Resource has increased from 177 million kilograms to 578 million kilograms, an increase of 401 million kilograms over the September 9, 2014 Mineral Resource estimate.

Table 1 – SRK Mineral Resource Statement – Effective Date February 6, 2015
Classification Cut-off (Nb2O5%) Tonnage
(‘000 Tonnes)
Grade (Nb2O5%) Contained Nb2O5
(‘000 kg)
INDICATED 0.3 81,200 0.71 578,200
INFERRED 0.3 99,800 0.56 557,500
(1) Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimate and have been used to derive sub-totals, totals and weighted averages. Such calculations inherently involve a degree of rounding and consequently introduce a margin of error. Where these occur, SRK does not consider them to be material. All composites have been capped where appropriate. The Concession is wholly owned by and exploration is operated by NioCorp Developments Ltd.
(2) The reporting standard adopted for the reporting of the MRE uses the terminology, definitions and guidelines given in the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (December 2005) as required by NI 43-101.
(3) SRK assumes the Elk Creek deposit to be amenable to a variety of Underground Mining methods. Using results from initial metallurgical test work, suitable underground mining and processing costs, and forecast Niobium price SRK has reported the Mineral Resource at a cut-off of 0.3% Nb2O5.
(4) SRK completed a site inspection to the deposit by Mr Martin Pittuck, MSc., C.Eng, MIMMM, an appropriate “independent qualified person” as this term is defined in National Instrument 43-101.

Given the on-going metallurgical bench and pilot testwork as well as technical studies in other areas of the project that are currently underway, the sensitivity in the Mineral Resource at a range of cut-off grades is presented in Table 2 from 0.3% Nb2O5 to 0.5% Nb2O5.

Table 2a – SRK Mineral Resource Sensitivity – Indicated
Classification Cut-off (Nb2O5%) Tonnage Grade (Nb2O5%) Contained Nb2O5
(‘000 Tonnes) (‘000 kg)
INDICATED 0.60 60,300 0.81 491,500
INDICATED 0.55 64,200 0.80 513,900
INDICATED 0.50 66,100 0.79 523,800
INDICATED 0.45 66,700 0.79 526,900
INDICATED 0.40 69,100 0.78 536,600
INDICATED 0.35 73,700 0.75 554,100
INDICATED 0.30 81,200 0.71 578,200
Table 2b – SRK Mineral Resource Sensitivity – Inferred
Classification Cut-off (Nb2O5%) Tonnage Grade (Nb2O5%) Contained Nb2O5
(‘000 Tonnes) (‘000 kg)
INFERRED 0.60 44,600 0.78 347,600
INFERRED 0.55 50,800 0.75 383,300
INFERRED 0.50 53,400 0.74 397,200
INFERRED 0.45 54,500 0.74 402,600
INFERRED 0.40 58,800 0.72 420,400
INFERRED 0.35 68,100 0.67 455,200
INFERRED 0.30 99,800 0.56 557,500

“We are very pleased to deliver such a substantial increase in the indicated Mineral Resources for the project along with a significantly higher Niobium grade,” said Mark Smith, Executive Chair of NioCorp. “Our team designed an efficient, cost-effective in-fill drilling program which exceeded even our own internal expectations. We remain focused in our quest to rapidly develop this truly world class Niobium resource into the fourth producing Niobium asset in the world. Our technical work programs will continue to be performed expeditiously and with precision in our effort to maximize shareholder value.”

Qualified Persons:

Martin Pittuck, MSc., C.Eng, MIMMM of SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd., a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, is responsible for the Elk Creek resource estimation and has read and approved the technical information contained in this news release.

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 NI4-101 compliant resource with an effective date of February 6, 2015 reporting an Indicated Resource of 81.2 million tonnes grading 0.71% Nb2O5, containing 578.2 million kilograms of Nb2O5 and an Inferred Resource of 99.8 million tonnes grading 0.56% Nb2O5, containing 557.5 million kilograms 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.

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.


Raj Shah

Editor:

Raj Shah has professional experience working for over a half a dozen years at financial firms such as Merrill Lynch and First Allied Securities Inc., ... <Read more about Raj Shah>


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