CENTENNIAL, Colo., Nov. 1, 2021 /CNW/ — NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company“) (TSX:NB) (OTCQX:NIOBF) today announced the planned retirement of John F. Ashburn, Jr., Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of NioCorp. Mr. Ashburn’s retirement is effective at the close of business on December 2, 2021. It is expected that Mr. Ashburn will continue to provide NioCorp with consulting services on a part-time basis.
“John Ashburn has enjoyed a very illustrious professional career over the past 40 years, and his experience, insights, and counsel has been immensely valuable to NioCorp,” said Mark A. Smith. “I am proud to have been able to work with John in a variety of professional capacities and companies over the past several decades. He is a man of deep principle and commitment to excellence, and it has been a privilege to call him a trusted colleague and friend for so many years. The Board and management of NioCorp all join in wishing John and his family all the very best in his retirement.”
Prior to joining NioCorp’s senior management team, Mr. Ashburn served as Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Simbol, Inc., a privately held development stage Lithium production company. He previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Molycorp, Inc. and prior to that held senior legal positions with Chevron and Unocal Corporation. Mr. Ashburn holds a Juris Doctorate from Northern Illinois University, School of Law.
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NioCorp is developing a superalloy materials project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium. Also under consideration by the Company is the production of several magnetic rare earth products. Niobium is used to produce superalloys as well as High Strength, Low Alloy (“HSLA”) steel, which is a lighter, stronger steel used in automotive, structural, and pipeline applications. Scandium is a superalloy material that can be combined with Aluminum to make alloys with increased strength and improved corrosion resistance. Scandium is also a critical component of advanced solid oxide fuel cells. Titanium is used in various superalloys and is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics and is also used for aerospace applications, armor, and medical implants. Magnetic rare earths, such as Neodymium, Praseodymium, Terbium, and Dysprosium are critical to the making of Neodymium-Iron-Boron (“NdFeB”) magnets, which are used across a wide variety of defense and civilian applications.