Mr. Peter Dickie reports
NIOCORP APPOINTS MR. MARK A. SMITH AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND DIRECTOR, AND
ANNOUNCES PRIVATE PLACEMENT OF COMMON SHARES
Niocorp Developments Ltd. has appointed Mark A. Smith as chief executive officer and a director of the company.
Mr. Smith is recognized in the mining community, having recently served as chief executive officer and director of Molycorp Inc., where he was instrumentally involved in taking it from a private company to a publicly traded company with a producing mine. Prior to that, he held numerous engineering, environmental and legal positions within Unocal Corp., and later acted as the president and chief executive officer of Chevron Mining Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corp. Mr. Smith also served for over five years as a shareholder representative of Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineracao (CBMM), part of the Moreira Salles Group, a private company that currently produces approximately 85 per cent of the world supply of niobium.
During his tenure with Chevron Mr. Smith was responsible for Chevron's three coal mines: one molybdenum mine, a petroleum coke calcining operation and the Mountain Pass mine. Mr. Smith has been a director of Avanti Mining Inc. since 2009 and has been a member of the advisory board at Niocorp since February, 2013.
Mr. Smith is a registered professional engineer and serves as an active member of the state bars of California and Colorado. He received his bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University in 1981 and his juris doctor, cum laude, from Western State University, College of Law, in 1990.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Mark to a leading role within the company as we continue development of the only primary niobium deposit targeted for development in the United States," commented Peter Dickie, president of Niocorp. "With his vast experience in mining operations and capital markets, we envision tremendous opportunities for Niocorp as we move the company forward."
"Niocorp is in a unique position to quickly become a new player in the niobium market. Within a nine- to 12-month period following the private placement, we hope to complete the additional drilling and resource characterization, along with the metallurgical testing, which will lead towards completion of a bankable feasibility study, and the start of full mine and processing activities," stated Mark Smith, newly appointed chief executive officer. "Niocorp believes in diversity and stability of supply, and looks forward to adding these attributes relative to use of niobium in the steel, automotive, and oil and gas pipeline and drill stem industries. It is an honour to be part of this company, and I look forward to continuing the excellent work that has been completed to date."
Mr. Dickie will remain on the board of directors, and president and secretary of the company.
The company is also pleased to announce that it has arranged a brokered private placement of up to 66,666,666 common shares at a price of 15 U.S. cents per share to raise gross proceeds of up to $10-million (U.S.). The proceeds will be used to conduct further exploration and development of its Elk Creek carbonatite property, and for general working capital.
The company will pay a cash commission equal to 7 per cent of the gross proceeds raised in the private placement. The company intends to accept subscriptions from U.S. residents in accordance with exemptions from registration under applicable U.S. securities laws and in Canada pursuant to applicable exemptions.
The private placement is subject to acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange. All the securities issued under the private placement are subject to resale restrictions under applicable securities legislation.
Furthermore, with the appointment of Mr. Smith as chief executive officer and a director, he has advised the company of his intention to subscribe for at least 1,666,667 common shares of the company (for minimum proceeds of $250,000) under the private placement, in addition to his current holdings of 1.6 million common shares acquired through the public markets over the previous six months.
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