VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jan. 8, 2014) - NioCorp Developments Ltd. ("NioCorp" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:NB)(OTCQX:NIOBF)(FRANKFURT:BR3) is pleased to provide the following report on 2013 activities.
During the last quarter of 2013, on the strength of enhanced management and the Elk Creek niobium deposit, NioCorp successfully raised in excess of US$1.65 million. This occurred in spite of persistent difficulties in capital markets experienced by most companies. Receipt of these proceeds have allowed for commencement of mineralogical and metallurgical studies.
Recognizing the overall capital market situation that persisted in 2013, NioCorp management focused efforts to advance the Company through the most cost effective means possible. Significant effort was put into bolstering the management team, enhancing community relations, and continuing correspondence with potential partners/investors in preparation for ramping up activities.
First Half, 2013:
- In February, NioCorp welcomed the Honorable Tony Fulton, former State Senator in the State of Nebraska, to the advisory board. As an engineer and successful local businessman, Tony will provide tremendous help and insight into community relations and permitting logistics.
- In February, NioCorp welcomed the addition of Mark A. Smith, former CEO and President of Molycorp, to the advisory board. Having recently served as President and CEO of Molycorp, who discovered the Elk Creek deposit, Mark is familiar with the project, and as Molycorp's "shareholder representative", representing their ownership interest in CBMM, the world's largest Niobium producer, he was also keenly aware of the attributes and benefits of the Niobium industry. This move followed the late 2012 addition to the board of directors of Claude Dufresne, an individual recognized throughout the world for his niobium marketplace knowledge.
Second Half, 2013:
- In September, following several months of additional due diligence on his part, Mark A. Smith agreed to become a director of NioCorp, and also to take over the role of Chief Executive Officer of NioCorp. In addition to his increased role with the Company, and indicative of his belief in the project, Mark acquired through the markets and through a capital raise, a total of 8.4 million shares of NioCorp, representing 8.4% of the issued capital of the Company.
- In December, NioCorp completed a capital raise, grossing over US$1.65 million, improving the balance sheet, providing capital allowing for commencement of mineralogical and metallurgical studies, and to ensure continuity of the Company.
- Discussions commenced regarding the framework of development permitting in preparation for feasibility work in late 2014, early 2015.
- Shareholders overwhelmingly approved all directors and motions at the Annual General Meeting in December, with over 99% of cast votes in favour of all agenda items.
Full year, 2013:
- Increased year end share price by 60%, and market capitalization by more than 75%, benefitting all shareholders, in contrast to the 25% drop in the overall TSX Venture Exchange Index.
- Continued relationship building with local community, government bodies, and potential strategic partners/investors.
Looking forward to 2014, NioCorp has positive capital available for corporate development, mineralogical and metallurgical studies are underway, discussions continue regarding financial and strategic partnership options with a variety of parties, and with our enhanced management team, continue planning to enhance the corporate capital position and develop the Elk Creek Niobium deposit.
About the Company: NioCorp are 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 has published an NI43-101 resource of 19.3 Million tonnes grading 0.67% Indicated, containing over 129,182 tonnes of Nb2O5, and 83.3 Mt grading 0.63% Inferred, containing over 523,844 tonnes of Nb2O5. 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.
This press release is not for distribution or dissemination in the United States and accordingly, shall not constitute an offer of securities in the United States. The securities that may be issued pursuant to this press release are not currently qualified by prospectus or registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), or the laws of any state, and may not be offered or sold in the United States, or to, or for the account or benefit of United States persons (as defined in Regulation S under the Securities Act) or persons in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. The securities are subject to resale restrictions under applicable securities laws.