CB Online says Quantum Rare Earth Developments has reported discovering a large niobium deposit in southeast Nebraska. The underground carbonatite formation has potential to become one of the world's largest sources of niobium, used in high-production steel and superalloys. Watch the interview with CEO Peter Dickie on BNN.
A new geology report confirms that a large deposit of a valuable and rare heat-resistant element rests underneath southeast Nebraska, but more exploration is needed to determine whether a mine will be built, a Canadian mining company said Tuesday.
Quantum Rare Earth Developments released the new estimate of the size of the niobium deposit near Elk Creek. The company wants to set up a mine to retrieve the niobium, which hasn't been produced in the U.S. in significant amounts since the 1950s.
Doing so would create several hundred jobs, but retrieving the niobium from more than 500 feet underground might not be economically feasible. And even if Quantum can find investors, a project remains several years away.
But the underground carbonatite formation near Elk Creek has the potential to become one of the world's largest sources of niobium and other rare earth elements that are used in cell phones, wind turbines, hybrid car batteries and other applications, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey.