Joseph A Carrabba, former chairman, president and ceo of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, has joined the board of junior niobium mining company NioCorp Developments Ltd.

"Joseph’s extensive experience and knowledge in exploration and global mining operations will add significant value to the proficiency of the existing board," Mark Smith, ceo of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based NioCorp, said in a statement on December 16.

Niobium is used in the form of ferro-niobium to produce high-strength, low-alloy steel for use in automotive, structural and pipeline industries.

The USA imports 100% of its needs for the metal, according to NioCorp, which is developing a deposit near Elk Creek, Nebraska.

This report was first published by American Metal Market.