New Financing Coming For Planned Niobium Mine In SE Nebraska


       The mining company that wants to extract an assortment of rare elements from under the ground in southeast Nebraska has announced a deal that will give it up to $285 million dollars to help cover the roughly $1.1 billion cost of building the mine.

       NioCorp announced this week that it’s planning to acquire GX Acquisition Corp. and list the merged firm on the NASDAQ after the deal closes, which is expected in the first quarter of next year..

    NioCorp also said it has signed a letter of intent to borrow up to an additional $81 million from Yorkville Advisors Global.NioCorp has been actively exploring the site for more than 7 years, but has raised only about $80 million in that time..

       NioCorp CEO Mark Smith says the transactions have the potential to put NioCorp on the fast track to obtain the required project financing to move forward.

     GX Acquisition is a one of the risky shell companies known as SPACs, essentially a blank check company created solely to merge with another business to invest in it. 

       Once popular on Wall Street, many of them had to be liquidated without ever completing a transaction. 

     SPACs are often used to help companies go public. NioCorp is already a publicly traded company, but a listing on NASDAQ would help it attract more investors. 

    The main element NioCorp plans to produce at the mine about 80 miles south of Omaha near the town of Elk Creek is a heat resistant metal called niobium, but it will also mine scandium and titanium. 

      The company says analysis of samples from the site also shows a significant amount of rare earth elements used to make strong magnets used in a variety of high-tech products such as electric vehicles and cell phones.

       President Joe Biden wants to produce more of all of the elements domestically, and GX Co-Chairman and CEO Dean Kehler says NioCorp should be able to help reach that goal if it can raise the rest of the money it needs to begin.

     The U.S. imports all the niobium and scandium and most of the titanium and rare earths it uses. The only U-S rare earth mine is in California and NioCorp says its Elk Creek deposit of rare earth elements is second only to the California mine.