CENTENNIAL, Colo., June 23, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the "Company”) (TSX:NB) (OTCQX:NIOBF) (FSE:BR3) announces the successful completion of a Whole Ore Pre-Leach Pilot Plant (WPL) as part of its Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Feasibility Study. The WPL validated results from earlier bench-scale testing and paves the way for the remaining Feasibility Study pilot plants to commence at the SGS Lakefield metallurgical testing facility in Lakefield, Ontario.
This pilot plant is a key component of the metallurgical development and design program that will lead to the completion of the Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Feasibility Study. It was designed to test the continuous operation of the WPL operation as well as providing Scandium-bearing solutions for a subsequent Scandium Solvent Extraction Pilot Plant, along with Pre-Leach Residue for a subsequent Acid Bake / Water Leach Pilot Plant.
Between May 24 and 27, 2016, and again between June 6 and 10, 2016, a continuous WPL operated at SGS–Lakefield. The WPL treated approximately 1.34 tonnes of representative material from the Elk Creek resource. Assay results show that scandium extraction was in line with expectations for the pilot and consistent with previous bench test results. The WPL produced 4,045 liters of Pre Leach Liquor containing between 20 and 24 mg/L Scandium. It also produced 485 kg of Pre Leach Residue containing between 1.24% and 1.95% Niobium and 4.76% and 6.1% Titanium, along with the remainder of the Scandium that is recovered in subsequent stages.
“I am extremely pleased with the success of the WPL pilot operation, in terms of both metallurgical and physical performance,” said Scott Honan, President of Elk Creek Resources Corp, the NioCorp subsidiary that is developing the Elk Creek Project. “The WPL pilot provides us with the materials needed to conduct the remaining pilot testing for the Elk Creek Feasibility Study, and these remaining pilot plants will commence shortly at SGS-Lakefield.”
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
Executive Chairman, CEO, and Director
Qualified Persons: Eric Larochelle, B.Eng of SMH Process Innovation, a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, is responsible for the Elk Creek hydrometallurgical program and has read and approved the technical information contained in this news release.
Source: NioCorp Developments Ltd.
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For More Information: Contact Jim Sims, VP of External Affairs, NioCorp Developments Ltd., 720-639-4650, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 is a superalloy material that can be combined with Aluminum to make 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 is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics and is also used for aerospace applications, armor and medical implants.
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.
Source:NioCorp Developments Ltd