Niocorp Developments Ltd (TSE:NB) revealed its Elk Creek super-alloys project in Nebraska had advanced again - as the firm signed an agreement on the underground mine infrastructure.
The firm inked a deal with the Nordmin group of companies for detailed engineering, marking a major new phase in the site's evolution.
"This effort underscores the Niocorp team's continuing commitment to bring the Elk Creek superalloys project to commercial reality as rapidly as possible and to do so efficiently and with environmental excellence," said Mark A. Smith, the chief executive and executive chairman of Niocorp.
"The Nordmin group is very pleased to be invited to be part of this great undertaking.
"The Elk Creek superalloys project will establish North America as a global leader in the production of critical and strategic superalloy metals, and Nordmin is committed to bringing this project to fruition for our partners at Niocorp," said Chris Dougherty, the chairman of the Nordmin Group.
The pair have also entered into a non-binding letter of intent to sign an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract to complete the construction of the underground mine portion of the project, subject to various terms.
Nordmin also will explore potential project financing assistance for the project through the export development Canada program.
Nordmin was one of several independent engineering firms involved in the Elk Creek feasibility study issued in December, 2017 and the firm aims to review and update the project's mining method and extraction infrastructure concepts with an eye towards further design and optimisation.
Nordmin, for example, will explore technologies that could reduce or eliminate the need for 15-18 months of active de-watering before the start of the mine shaft sinking operations.
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