CENTENNIAL, Colo. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 20, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp”) (TSX:NB); (OTCQX:NIOBF); (Frakfurt:BR3) and IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. (“IBC”) (TSX-V:IB); (OTCQB:IAALD) announce that they have entered into a joint development agreement to investigate and develop applications for scandium-containing alloys for multiple downstream markets.
Scandium is a transition metal (element #21) that can provide many powerful benefits to industries such as commercial aviation, automotive, precision manufacturing, defense, electronics, and others. When alloyed with aluminum, for example, it can increase the strength and weldability of the aluminum used in commercial airliners, which in turn can reduce a plane’s weight, fuel consumption, and emissions per passenger mile. ONG Commodities LLC (“ONG”) has estimated that $1.0-$1.5 million of scandium oxide in a Boeing 737NG single-aisle airliner can offer $10-15 million of net present value in fuel savings alone.
Scandium is scarcely used today because global production is severely constrained and unreliable. The U.S. Geological Survey recently estimated that only 10-15 tonnes per year of scandium are now produced. However, independent experts such as ONG estimate that latent demand in the aerospace and solid oxide fuel cell sectors alone is several hundred tonnes per year.
NioCorp expects to come online as one of the world’s leading producers of scandium from its Elk Creek, Nebraska Superalloy Materials Project, potentially producing as much as 97 tonnes/year. IBC is a leading advanced alloys company that produces high-performance alloys in a range of product forms for multiple industries and platforms, including cast components for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The joint development agreement announced today signals the companies’ intent to collaborate in ensuring a reliable and secure U.S. supply of scandium and catalyzing greater scandium use across a variety of industries.
The President of IBC Engineered Materials, Chris Huskamp, will be leading the joint development effort for IBC. Mr. Huskamp is a former Boeing Associate Technical Fellow in advanced metallic processes who is credited as a named co-inventor of two pending patents regarding scandium-bearing aluminum alloys. The first pending patent can be seen here, and the second one can be seen here.
Scott Honan, Vice President of Business Development of NioCorp and President of Elk Creek Resources Corporation, will manage the initiative for NioCorp. Mr. Honan is leading the effort to develop and build NioCorp’s niobium / scandium / titanium mine and processing facility in Nebraska, and has more than a decade of experience in producing advanced materials that are used in high-performance alloys.
“This joint development effort should deliver value both to NioCorp and IBC, and it highlights the powerful industrial logic of an upstream materials company jointly developing applications with a downstream advanced alloys producer like IBC,” said Mark A. Smith, CEO and Executive Chairman of NioCorp. “NioCorp intends to establish a secure and reliable supply chain for scandium, and our partnership with IBC will leverage our ability to simultaneously accelerate applications development and market uptake of our scandium production.”
“Advanced alloys are continuing to revolutionize many industries, and IBC’s strategic goal is to catalyze new applications for scandium-containing alloys so that we can expand our markets beyond those we are now able to address with advanced beryllium and copper alloys,” said Major General David “Duncan” Heinz (USMC, ret.), CEO of IBC. “The establishment of a reliable and secure scandium supply chain from NioCorp in the United States, coupled with our team’s world-class experience with scandium-containing and other advanced alloys, make this joint development effort very attractive for our two companies and for U.S. industries as a whole.”
The General continued: “We intend to grow a whole new class of advanced products made here in the U.S from our superalloys. Not only will IBC products help meet a growing market demand for advanced alloys, but they also will help address some of the world’s greatest problems, such as climate change and reliance on fossil fuels. By providing greater strength and reduced weight, our advanced alloys increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions. They deliver real and measurable results today in the effort to tackle these enormous global challenges.”
|On behalf of the Board of Directors |
NioCorp Developments Ltd.
Executive Chairman, CEO, and Director
|On behalf of the Board of Directors|
IBC Advanced Alloys Corp.
David "Duncan" Heinz, MajGen, USMC (ret)
President and CEO, Director
Sources: NioCorp Developments Ltd. and IBC Advanced Alloys
@NioCorp $NB $NIOBF #Niobium #Scandium #ElkCreek
@IBCAdvanced $IB $IAALF #Beryllium #Beralcast
NioCorp is developing a superalloy materials project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce niobium, scandium, and titanium. Niobium is used to produce superalloys as well as High Strength, Low Alloy ("HSLA") steel, which is a lighter, stronger steel used in automotive, structural, and pipeline applications. Scandium can be combined with Aluminum to make super-high-performance alloys with increased strength and improved corrosion resistance. Scandium also is a critical component of advanced solid oxide fuel cells. Titanium is used in various superalloys and has extensive uses in aerospace, defense, transportation, medical, and other applications. It also is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics.
Jim Sims, VP of External Affairs, NioCorp Developments Ltd., 855-2-NIOCORP (855-264-6267), email@example.com
About IBC Advanced Alloys Corp.
IBC is a leading beryllium and copper advanced alloys company serving a variety of industries such as defense, aerospace, automotive, telecommunications, precision manufacturing, and others. IBC's Copper Division manufactures and distributes a variety of copper alloys as castings and forgings, including beryllium copper, chrome copper, and aluminum bronze. IBC's Engineered Materials Division makes the Beralcast® family of alloys, which can be precision cast and are used in an increasing number of defense, aerospace, and other systems, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. IBC's has production facilities in Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. The Company's common shares are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "IB" and the OTCQB under the symbol "IAALF".
Jim Sims, Director of Investor and Public Relations, IBC Advanced Alloys, 303-503-6203, firstname.lastname@example.org
NioCorp Cautionary Statements
Neither TSX nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) 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 labor 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.
IBC Cautionary Statements
This news release was prepared by management of IBC, which takes full responsibility for its contents. The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy of this news release. 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.
This disclosure contains certain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the Company's control including: the impact of general economic conditions in the areas in which the Company operates, industry conditions, changes in laws and regulations including the adoption of new environmental laws and regulations and changes in how they are interpreted and enforced, increased competition, the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management, limited availability of raw materials, fluctuations in commodity prices, foreign exchange or interest rates, stock market volatility and obtaining required approvals of regulatory authorities. In addition there are risks and uncertainties associated with manufacturing activities therefore the Company's future results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. All statements included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that the Company expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on assumptions made by the Company based on its experience, perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances.
 Estimate is based on a B737NG flying 3000-4000 hours per year, and a long-term jet fuel price of $2-3/gallon. Savings potential is greater in long-haul aircraft with higher overall utilization.
Source:NioCorp Developments Ltd; IBC Advanced Alloys Corp.