"We need niobium, Mr. President, yet we don't mine a single pound of it in the U.S. today. Nebraska wants to change that, and as rapidly as possible."
This is an extract from a letter penned to Donald Trump from current Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, who has nominated NioCorp's (TSE:NB) Elk Creek superalloy property as a high-priority infrastructure project.
Trump, elected as US president last year, has been vocal in his desire to bolster American jobs and America- produced products.
The letter comes in response to the White House's executive order entitled "Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High Priority Infrastructure Projects."
Niocorp's huge project in southeast Nebraska aims to produce niobium, scandium and titanium.
A recent feasibility study slated a pre-tax net present value (NPV) of Elk Creek at US$2.3bn at an 8% discount rate, with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 24.3%.
The post-tax NPV was US$1.7bn, with an IRR of 21.7%
Ricketts wrote: "The Elk Creek Superalloy Project can help the U.S. produce American-made "super steels" for infrastructure projects across all 50 states.
"The project will establish the first-ever production in America of niobium, a metal that helps to make High Performance Steel (HPS).
"These super steels are increasingly used in highway bridges and in virtually all mega-steel infrastructure projects in order to reduce corrosion, lengthen lifespans, cut costs, and reduce environmental impacts.
"American-made HPS steel can help highway bridges last in excess of a century. That will reduce taxpayer costs and strengthen safety...."
Last week, NioCorp told investors it had brought in a total of C$1,925,625 from its previously announced private placing.
It issued over 2.96mls units at 65 cents a throw and the proceeds will be used for general working capital purposes and to advance Elk Creek.
Separately, the group said it would hold a Nebraska town hall meeting and buffet dinner to discuss the details of the Elk Creek project feasibility study on Friday, September 8 this year
Shares in NioCorp added almost 8% to 68 cents each.