NioCorp Keeps Rally Going on Bid to Make U.S. a Scandium Superpower

Last week, NioCorp Developments Ltd. (TSX:NB)(OTCQX:NIOBF) applauded the White House for issuing an Executive Order calling for expediting domestic production of critical minerals to reduce dependence on imports.

President Trump gave Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Defense Secretary James Mattis two months to come up with a list of critical minerals that will be the focus of increased efforts in all areas from exploration to production.
NioCorp believes metals like niobium, scandium and titanium could be part of the list, putting the Centennial, Colorado-based company in a good position with its Elk Creek Project in Nebraska.

Today, the company, along with IBC Advanced Alloys (TSX-V:IB)(OTCQX:IAALF), said that they have successfully manufactured several aluminum-scandium alloy ingots. The test pours occurred at IBC’s Wilmington, Massachusetts Engineered Materials facility using scandium purchased commercially by NioCorp. The ingots will now undergo testing that is the basis for commercializing aluminum-scandium alloys.

The ultra-strong and lightweight alloys have an array of uses in defense and civilian sectors, such as automobiles, planes, structures and pipelines. By large, the alloys have never reached their potential due to limited supply of scandium globally, with worldwide production ringing in at only 10-15 tonnes each year.

NioCorp expects that it will be able to more than 100 tonnes of scandium trioxide annually from its Elk Creek project, in addition to niobium and titanium material, which would position the U.S. - and NioCorp for that matter, as a scandium superpower.

Shares of NioCorp have exploded in December, bouncing off a low of 29 cents on December 7 to rip ahead to the highest level since June, including another gain of 13.8% to 60 cents halfway through Thursday trading.