Date of this Version
Many communities throughout the world that rely on resource extraction experience a population boom. This boom can be difficult accommodate due to the fact that many of these communities are small and do not have the housing to deal with the population increase. Elk Creek, Nebraska, a small community in southeast Nebraska, is on the brink of experiencing a possible boom situation. A company called NioCorp has discovered a mineralization at a site near the community and plans to mine niobium, titanium, and scandium from it. They believe this will add 1,200 temporary jobs for construction and 300 to 400 permanent jobs to the area. The purpose of this study is to determine possible solutions for Elk Creek in different scenarios of population increase based upon the experiences of other boom communities. The findings reveal that temporary housing will be needed for the construction workers, while permanent housing will be needed for the permanent mine employees. The study finds that it would benefit Elk Creek to work on integrating the people into the community and implementing more permanent housing in the event that more people move to the community. This would allow them to integrate faster and build up industries that are not dependent on the mine in the case of a boom. Smaller population increases allow for slower integration and slower construction of permanent housing. Ultimately planning and regional cooperation is needed in Elk Creek and other nearby communities prior to the population increase in order to ensure the communities do not suffer negatively because of it.
Advisor: Rodrigo Cantarero