|By Marketwired .||
|August 5, 2014 10:10 AM EDT|
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/05/14 -- NioCorp Developments Ltd. ("NioCorp" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:NB)(OTCQX:NIOBF)(FRANKFURT:BR3) is pleased to announce the following updates on development activities concerning the Elk Creek Niobium project, located in Southeast Nebraska.
The initial five holes were cored through the overlying limestone unit and have provided valuable technical information of the ground characteristics from surface to 200 meters depth, where the carbonatite begins. The success of this coring has reduced the coring requirement for this upper 200 meter intervals, allowing for the mobilization of a third drilling rig. A reverse circulation drill operated by Envirotech Drilling has arrived on site to pre-collar the upper 30 to 200 m (100 to 650 ft) of select holes.
Drillholes NEC14-006, NEC14-007 and NEC14-008, were drilled along a North-East to South-West section line that was designed to drill across the previously defined Niobium Resource. These holes were drilled at approximately 50 m (165 ft.) intervals along the drill section line.
The collected core samples have been systematically processed and shipped for analytical and physical rock property test work to support NioCorp's corporate objectives for the project. Assay results have been received and reviewed for:
-- All NEC14-006 sample sections -- All NEC14-007 sample sections -- 765 m of NEC14-008 (total depth drilled and sampled 886 m)
Analytical highlights for NEC14-007 and NEC14-008 appear below. Note that due to the angle of the drilling and other factors, these do not represent the true thickness of the Niobium Resource:
-- NEC14-007 -- 279 m interval between 628 - 907 m (open) at 0.60 % Nb2O5, including -- 16 m (646 - 663 m) at 0.97 % Nb2O5 -- 23 m (720 - 744 m) at 0.93 % Nb2O5 -- 95 m (813 - 908 m) at 0.80 % Nb2O5, open at depth -- NEC14-008 -- 326 m interval between 438 - 765 m (open) at 0.67 % Nb2O5 -- 32 m (466 - 498 m) at 1.09 % Nb2O5 -- 5 m (493 - 498 m) at 1.68 % Nb2O5 -- 9 m (553 - 563 m) at 1.00 % Nb2O5 -- 13 m (610 - 623 m) at 1.02 % Nb2O5 -- 25 m (740 - 765 m) at 0.85 % Nb2O5, open at depth
The Elk Creek Niobium project continues to complete Geotechnical and hydrogeological testing on all of its current drillholes. Four of the current drillholes are currently being completed as monitoring wells for longer term data collection and modelling, and the data from these installations will support recently initiated permitting efforts for the project.
"The drilling program is demonstrating and confirming the high grade nature of this resource as well as the continuity of the resource. The positive analytical results to date will allow us to meet our corporate objective of demonstrating a high grade resource for use in economic planning reports for Elk Creek. By combining the resource drilling with geotechnical and hydrogeologic testing, we are minimizing mobilization costs and field time. This type of experienced planning allows the Company to advance the project in the least amount of time possible," said Mark A. Smith, CEO of NioCorp.
In addition to the drilling program, metallurgical studies are continuing at both SGS in Lakefield, Ontario and Hazen Research in Denver, Colorado. To date, nearly 150 bench scale tests have been completed at the two labs and have included gravity concentration, magnetic separation, flotation and hydrometallurgy. The objective of this work continues to be the establishment of an economic process flowsheet for the Elk Creek resource that could be used to design and initiate a pilot plant for the project. Along with the bench test work, both labs have conducted QEMSCAN testing to determine how the Niobium is distributed. The QEMSCAN results clearly demonstrate that 75% to 80% of the Niobium is hosted in the mineral pyrochlore, with the balance of the Niobium reporting with iron-titanium oxide minerals of variable composition. This result simplifies the prospective flowsheet for the project, and allows the bench testing program to target pyrochlore recovery as the first step in the Niobium production process.
Smith further stated, "Metallurgical testing will continue with multiple screening programs being run in parallel. We are conducting the technical work required to advance the understanding of the separation of the niobium in the Elk Creek resource. The finding concerning the niobium being hosted in the mineral pyrochlore is one example of how undertaking the technical work required brings real value to the company. The team is very focused on developing an economic process flow sheet and results are very encouraging to date."
"I am pleased with the overall progress of both the drilling and metallurgical programs" noted Smith. "Based on this progress, a third drill is being added to the drilling program and additional testing scopes have been authorized at both SGS and Lakefield, in order to further accelerate the work and realize the company's objectives for the Elk Creek project."
Brad Ulry, B.Sc., P.Geo., Dahrouge Geological Consulting Ltd., a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, is responsible for the Elk Creek drilling operations and has read and approved the technical information contained in this news release.
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 NI 43-101 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.
NioCorp Developments Ltd.
(604) 568-8270 (FAX)