The total project to reach $1.1 billion: southeast Nebraska NioCorp mining project to invest additional $366 million

LINCOLN, Nebraska — A long-delayed mining project in southeast Nebraska said on Monday that it would engage into agreements that potentially result in an extra $366 million investment in its $1.1 billion project.

NioCorp has raised approximately $80 million towards the opening of its proposed “critical minerals” mine, according to a company spokesperson. The mine would be situated close to Elk Creek, a farming community situated south of Tecumseh and around 80 miles south of Omaha.

The Colorado-based company stated on Monday that it intends to acquire GX Acquisition Corp. and that the merged company will be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange following the acquisition’s expected completion in the first quarter of 2023.

Transactions might yield $366 million

According to NioCorp, the acquisition “may” provide access to an extra $285 million for the Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project, depending on the redemption rate of present GXII investors.

Additionally on Monday, NioCorp issued letters of intent with Yorkville Advisors Global for two loans that will generate an extra $81 million for the project.

Mark A. Smith, CEO and Executive Chairman of NioCorp, stated in a press release that Monday’s events “have the potential to greatly accelerate our efforts” to make the Elk Creek project a reality.

Considered since the 1970s

The mine, which has been considered since the 1970s, would harvest the minerals niobium, scandium, and titanium, which are used to harden steel, strengthen aluminum, and as a pigment in paint.

In excess of a decade ago, the project’s developers began signing leases with landowners in the Elk Creek region. Initially, they projected that the investment phase of the project would conclude in 2018, but they later extended the schedule.

The mine has generated substantial attention in southeast Nebraska, in part because to forecasts that it will provide 450 permanent employment paying more than $60,000 per year. Over fifty percent of the project’s investors are from Nebraska, and the state has allowed $200 million in tax benefits for the mine.

Ricketts sees ‘a significant benefit’

Governor Pete Ricketts stated on his monthly radio call-in show on Monday, in answer to a query, “I believe it would be a tremendous advantage to the State of Nebraska.”

He mentioned that workers would require specific mining skills and would likely be newcomers to the area.

NioCorp has stated in recent months that it is investigating the possibility that the mine could generate “rare earth” minerals, which are used in the creation of magnets and rechargeable batteries for cell phones and electric vehicles.

President Joe Biden has advocated for the indigenous development of rare earth minerals because China currently dominates the market.

Monday, NioCorp spokesperson Jim Sims stated that no decision has been made regarding the addition of rare earth minerals to the project.

“Currently, we are performing technical and economic evaluations of the possibilities,” he stated.

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