NioCorp Developments (CVE:NB)(OTCQX:NIOBF) has announced it has made the official move to the Toronto Stock Exchange, after receiving final approval for its listing, marking a significant stage in the company's development to become a niobium producer.
Its shares will begin trading on the TSX as of market open on Monday, March 9th, the company said, under the same trading symbol of "NB." The shares will be delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange prior to Monday.
NioCorp said the move will facilitate more access to a broad range of international and institutional investors and capital pools, with the increased exposure coming alongside the rapid development of the company's Elk Creek niobium project in Nebraska.
Indeed, the niobium developer has led an aggressive development path over the past year, finishing a three-phase drilling program in 2014 that more than tripled contained niobium resources at the site, while also moving to secure project financing.
Earlier this week, it said it obtained approval to be eligibile for a loan guarantee from the Federal Republic of Germany, which will support its debt financing strategy to help develop its flagship project. The approval, which represents the first of four required, is based on a signed offtake agreement with Germany-based ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products announced last year, under which ThyssenKrupp agreed to purchase about 50 percent of planned ferro-niobium production from Elk Creek for an initial 10 years.
The preliminary arrangements put NioCorp in a leading position as the bankers are able to conduct their due diligence on the project while the company is busy finishing up the feasibility study, which is due out later this year.
Typically, a feasibility study has to be completed before companies can even sit down to have preliminary discussions with banks, only then beginning a due diligence process which can last up to nine months.
The company has also appointed Northcott Capital as its financial advisor to help with project debt financing, which is expected to be completed by late 2015 or early 2016.
"The past year has seen tremendous progress in the company's business, highlighted by our ranking as the #1 mining issuer in the TSX Venture 50(R) for 2014," said chief executive officer Mark Smith, who is the previous CEO of Molycorp.
"We look forward to leveraging our new listing on the TSX as we drive the Elk Creek project forward."
The ore grades at the deposit are among the top three in the world, and the recovery rates promise to “reset the standard for what world class niobium recovery is going to be,” according to Smith. The average grade NioCorp is looking at is 0.7% or above, placing it solidly as the third richest niobium ore deposit in the world, behind CBMM and Anglo American, which both operate in Brazil.