Centennial Colorado headquartered NioCorp Developments announced that its demonstration-scale processing plant in Quebec in Canada is now processing ore samples from its Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project. The demonstration plant project is intended to demonstrate that the Company can extract and separate rare earth elements from ore that NioCorp expects to mine from the Project site, subject to receipt of necessary project financing, and that its simplified process for potentially producing niobium, scandium, and titanium is technically and economically feasible. The demonstration plant will process Elk Creek ore samples in three phases.Phase 1 is designed to demonstrate a new approach to the initial processing of the ore that NioCorp expects to mine from the Project site, subject to receipt of necessary project funding, including calcination, initial leaching, and rare earth extraction.Phase 2 is designed to demonstrate an improved process for the second stage of leaching along with Niobium and Titanium separation.Phase 3 is designed to demonstrate the technical viability of separating high-purity versions of several target magnetic rare earth products from Elk Creek ore samples, as well as confirming previously achieved high recovery rates for high-purity Scandium trioxide. The potential magnetic rare earth products include Neodymium-Praseodymium oxide, Dysprosium oxide and Terbium oxide. NioCorp will utilize conventional solvent extraction technology to test a rare earth separation approach developed by NioCorp and L3. NioCorp and L3 have years of collective experience in SX technology.As no economic analysis has been completed on the rare earth mineral resource comprising the Project, further studies are required before determining whether extraction of rare earth elements can be reasonably justified and economically viable after taking account all relevant factors.NioCorp is developing a critical minerals project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce niobium, scandium, and titanium. The Company also is evaluating the potential to produce several rare earths from the Project. Niobium is used to produce specialty alloys as well as High Strength, Low Alloy steel, which is lighter, stronger steel used in automotive, structural, and pipeline applications. Scandium is a specialty metal 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 lightweight alloys 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 magnets, which are used across a wide variety of defense and civilian applications.