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$IAG may spin off niobium mine (Rare Earth Element)


$IAG may spin off niobium mine (Rare Earth Element)

(IAG) and the Niobium connection.
Niobium is considered a “strategic metal” by the U.S. government:

Due to its relevance in aerospace and defense, Niobium is considered a “strategic metal” by the U.S. government, meaning there are few or no substitutes for the metal’s essential use. Furthermore, of all strategic metals, Niobium is regarded as one of the most highly critical. But its supplies are considered potentially at risk. This is because only a few sources throughout the world produce the metal. Almost 90% of the world supply comes from Brazil. Nearly all of that comes from only one mine. Most of the rest comes from the Canadian Niobec Mine, owned by IAMGOLD (NYSE: IAG) which produces roughly 8% of world consumption.

The Niobec deposit was discovered in 1967. Commercial production of niobium pentoxide concentrates began in 1976. For the first 18 years of operation, production was shipped as concentrates to firms in Europe, India, Japan and the US and sold to intermediate processors for conversion into ferroniobium. In 1994, production of ferroniobium began at the minesite, following the construction of a plant to convert concentrates into ferroniobium which is directly marketed to the steel industry. Ferroniobium is used by steel and specialty metals manufacturers as an alloy to enhance the physical, mechanical, chemical and thermal properties of their products. Steel containing niobium belongs to a class of steels known as High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steels used in the pipeline, construction, aeronautical and automotive industries.