U.S. government declares metals from NioCorp's Nebraska project as 'critical'
The Trump Administration will officially designate as "Critical Minerals" the entire planned product suite of superalloy metals that NioCorp proposes to mine and process at its Nebraska superalloy materials project. The designation establishes the Elk Creek Project as one of the few polymetallic greenfield mining projects in the U.S. that proposes to produce multiple "Critical Minerals", Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium, in this case, that all have key uses in national defense and civilian technologies and upon which the U.S. is currently 100% dependent on foreign nations such as China and Russia. Once placed into commercial operation, the project also will position the State of Nebraska as a global leader in the production of Scandium, a lightweight and strong metal that has been used for several decades in Soviet and Russian military technologies. The U.S. Armed Forces have been largely shut out from being able to incorporate Scandium in aerospace and other national defense systems because of a lack of available Scandium supply.