Rockies Express inks deal to build gas line to proposed mine

Niocorp Developments said last week it’s signed a deal with Rockies Express Pipeline LLC to build a natural gas line to serve its proposed mine in southeast Nebraska.

The company said Rockies Express will build a 27.8-mile line that will supply its planned Elk Creek Superalloy Facility, Kallanish Energy learns.

The agreement calls for Rockies Express to design, build and operate the pipeline, which will run from its main gas line in Marshall County, Kan. to the site near Elk Creek in Johnson County, Neb.

Niocorp would contract separately for the purchase of the natural gas to be carried on the pipeline.

Niocorp said the deal is worth $63 million over 11 years and is dependent on the mining project going forward.

The Centennial, Colo.-based company said it’s been working for several years to build a mining operation near Elk Creek, where it plans to extract niobium, scandium and titanium.

“Arranging for long-term delivery of natural gas to the Elk Creek facility is an important milestone to have reached, and we are pleased to be working with the Rockies Express team on this important aspect of our project,” Mark A. Smith, executive chairman and CEO of Niocorp, said, in a statement.

Niocorp earlier this year released its project feasibility study showing the mine could be worth as much as $17.6 billion over its projected 32-year lifespan.

The company is now in the process of trying to raise the more than $1 billion needed to get the mine built. Construction is expected to take roughly two years.