Investors not too concerned about NioCorp investigation

(KLZA)-- Developers of a proposed niobium mine in southeast Nebraska are brushing off an announced “investigation” by a New York law firm over its delayed annual financial report for 2022-23.

The firm, Pomerantz LLP, bills itself as a “premier firm” in the areas of corporate litigation, and stated in a press release earlier this month that it was probing whether NioCorp and its officers or directors “engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful business practices.”

A spokesman for NioCorp and a former board member of the project dismissed the probe as “trolling for clients” to file a lawsuit.

Former State Sen. Tony Fulton, who once served on the NioCorp Board of Directors, had a similar response, likening the effort by the law firm to “ambulance chasers.

NioCorp, which has obtained options on land near Elk Creek, has seen its stock price on NASDAQ drop from over $10 per share in March to $4.09 on Tuesday.

A spokesman said he could not comment on the stock price drop, but Fulton said that some investors became upset after a move by NioCorp to join with GX Accounting Corp. didn’t reap as much of an investment in the project as expected.

A critical minerals mine in southeast Nebraska has been discussed for at least five decades, and NioCorp is led by an executive, Mark A. Smith, who was involved in Molycorp, a firm that had explored the Elk Creek project 30 years ago.

But attracting the estimated $1.2 billion in investments to get the deep-rock mine off and running has proven to be challenging. At one time, Smith had said that fund raising for the Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project would be completed by 2018.

Dozens of Nebraskans have invested in the project, placing a high-risk bet that the project will become reality. It has been promoted as creating 450 jobs with an annual payroll exceeding $1 billion.

The mine would extract and process niobium, scandium and titanium, minerals used to harden steel, make aluminum stronger and employed as a pigment in paint.

Fulton said he remains optimistic about the project, while acknowledging that it is not a sure thing.

© Many Signals Communications

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