Hughes' Views

Impact of niobium mine would be huge

NioCorp, the company developing North America’s only niobium mining project near Elk Creek, held a town hall meeting this past Friday.

As chair of the Natural Resources Committee, I’ve been following closely the potential of NioCorp’s niobium mine project. 

The potential impact for the State of Nebraska would be nearly 500 permanent jobs and around 1,200 construction jobs. 

Once financing is secured, it will take four years for the project’s initial construction, before officially starting up. The potential revenue impact for Nebraska from the project and the jobs created is significant.  

The initial direct and indirect capital is projected to cost over $1 billion. Projects like this, coupled with the Costco chicken plant in Fremont, Buffalo Genetics in Hayes County, and Facebook in Papillion, are all signs Nebraska’s industrial economy is going well. 

Nebraska is also in the running for a Toyota car manufacturing plant. Although a long shot, it is still good to know we are at least being considered.

All of these developments will help us be less dependent on agriculture and consequently the up and down cycles that all industries face time to time.

Last week my colleague Joni Craighead announced that she will be resigning as the senator for the District 6 seat in Omaha. She stated how being a state senator has always been a difficult balance between family, business and legislative responsibilities.

With recent circumstances within her family, she made the difficult decision to resign. The amount of time it can take to be an effective senator can be a challenge unless you are in a somewhat unique situation. 

Joni is a good friend and ally on many issues and it was a privilege to work with her. I’m sorry to see her go.

New administrative assistant

I would like to welcome Grant Latimer to the District 44 office. Grant will be serving as my Administrative Assistant. 

He is completing his degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Advertising and Public Relations with graduation in December. 

Grant is replacing Gera Carstenson who will be continuing her career in Florida. My staff and myself are excited to have Grant on board, and look forward to what he will bring to our office.

I always enjoy hearing from the Nebraskans I represent. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have.

Read more about bills and other work of the Legislature at www.nebraskalegislature.gov. Click on the Live Video Streaming NET logo to watch sessions, hearings and other Capitol events.

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