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County grants permit for southeast Nebraska mine project

Photo: MGN
Photo: MGN(KSFY)
Published: Dec. 24, 2019 at 12:26 PM CST
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Johnson County commissioners have granted a permit to a Colorado company that wants to place a mine in southeast Nebraska to extract a rare, heat-resistant element, the company said Tuesday.

NioCorp Developments Ltd. said in a news release that the commissioners determined the niobium mine was not incompatible with agriculture and was designed to minimize impact on its neighbors.

NioCorp, which is based in Centennial, Colorado, also said it agreed to pave and maintain a county road to the project site.

The project, which has qualified for up to $200 million in state tax incentives, is expected to create more than 400 jobs and require more than $1 billion in construction costs.

The U.S. imports nearly all the niobium that’s used in this country to harden steel and make it more heat-resistant for industrial uses.