Cementation USA, which is part of the Cementation Americas Group, will be inking a formal agreement with the miner in the near future. The contractor will oversee the underground aspects of the project in southeastern Nebraska, US.
"Cementation provides broad expertise in both mine construction and mine engineering, and has a solid track record in safely executing on mine development projects around the world," NioCorp CEO and executive chairman Mark Smith said.
Cementation EVP for USA contracting Robert Gripper said it was encouraging to see an owner embrace an EPC approach.
"We understand that mine owners are looking for engineering that adds value through the use of best practices and accounts for constructability and operability, and a construction team that is aligned with the engineer and owner. Such an approach lends itself to this," he said.
Ontario, Canada-based Nordmin previously demonstrated its expertise by designing an improved mine plan for the project. It has also conducted an interpretation of the geologic resource along with a sound plan for managing bedrock groundwater.
"Nordmin … brought together a mine design that improved the project's economics while reducing execution risk and providing an efficient and cost-effective means for dealing with the water produced by the mine," NioCorp vice president and Elk Creek Resources president Scott Honan said.
"We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Nordmin on the engineering in support of Cementation's efforts, particularly in the areas of mineral resources, mineral reserves, mine design and mine water management."
Moreover, NioCorp has selected San Antonio, Texas-based Zachry Group as the EPC firm for the surface processing facilities and associated infrastructure of the project, subject to the completion of EPC contract negotiations.
NioCorp's Smith went on to call Elk Creek "one of the few greenfield underground mine developments in North America", noting that the project development would require significant additional capital as it grows. As that financing is obtained, the project's work for its new partners will also expand.
Elk Creek, once active, will produce niobium, scandium and titanium.