The company working to build a mine in southeast Nebraska to extract a rare heat-resistant element says the project could qualify for up to $200 million in state tax incentives.

NioCorp Developments said Tuesday that it signed a contract with Nebraska for tax incentives from the state’s Advantage Act on the proposed niobium mine near Elk Creek. The project is projected to create more than 400 jobs and require more than $1 billion in construction costs. If it meets certain job creation and investment thresholds, it would then qualify for state tax credits.

NioCorp says the incentives would lower its operating costs in the first 10 years of the mine’s operation. The company is still working to raise enough money to move forward with the project.

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

NioCorp is based in Centennial, Colorado.

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Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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