Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.

Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.

September 14, 2011 08:00 ET

Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. Corporate Update as at September 14, 2011

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2011) - Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:GWG)(OTCQX:GWMGF) ("GWMG" or the "Company") Corporate Holdings:

  • 1 Rare Earth former producer: Steenkampskraal mine in South Africa. GWMG holds controlling interest in the mine through its 100% shareholding of Rare Earth Extraction Co. Ltd. ("Rareco").
  • 2 Rare Earth processing plants: Less Common Metals Limited ("LCM") in Birkenhead, U.K. and Great Western Technologies Inc. ("GWTI") in Troy, Michigan.
  • 5 active Rare Earth exploration projects: 1 at the Steenkampskraal site, 4 in North America.

GWMG Corporate Focus:

GWMG continues to execute its strategic plan to become a leading, fully integrated rare earth producer supplying its own rare earth inputs into its production and processing cycle.

GWMG CEO Conference Call: "An update on the Company's progress and plans for Steenkampskraal and Less Common Metals."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. EST: CEO Conference Call with President & Chief Executive Officer Jim Engdahl. Participants can sign up for the conference call as follows:

Dial – in Numbers:
North American Toll Free 888-231-8191
Local Toronto 647-427-7450
China North 10-800-714-1191
China South 10-800-140-1195
Germany 0-800-183-0171
Switzerland 0-800-835-354
Hong Kong 800-901-563
South Africa 0-800-983-113
United Kingdom 0-800-051-7107

GWMG Corporate Coverage:

GWMG is covered by three analysts:

Note: GWMG does not recommend nor endorse any research reports.

GWMG Continues to Execute its Plan to Become a Fully Integrated Rare Earth Producer


Since the most recent Corporate Update on July 21, 2011, GWMG has made significant progress with the refurbishment of the mine site, the design work for the chloride processing plant, and the Heads of Terms agreement with a J/V partner for the design and construction of the separation plant. GWMG also acquired additional, highly skilled personnel to advance the Company's monazite sands and exploration activities and launched an exploration program designed to confirm historical data and expand the resources at Steenkampskraal. Meanwhile, GWMG achieved increased alloy processing margins. The details are as follows:

Launched design work on the Chloride Processing Plant at Steenkampskraal:

GWMG contracted DRA Mineral Projects (Pty) Ltd. ("DRA") of South Africa for the detailed design of the Steenkampskraal chloride processing plant. DRA is highly regarded for managing projects with a "zero harm" focus and upholding world class quality standards, systems and procedures, based on ISO standards.

Announced a joint venture partner to build the Separation Plant for Steenkampskraal:

GWMG negotiated a Heads of Terms with Ganzhou Qiandong Rare Earth Group Ltd. ("GQD") of China to build a rare earth separation plant in South Africa, located in proximity to GWMG's Steenkampskraal operation. The Heads of Terms will form the basis of the project under which a new joint venture company, Great Western GQD Rare Earth Materials Co. Ltd. will be created. GWMG will hold 75% ownership while GQD will hold 25%.

Appointed a highly regarded expert in monazite sands to assist with additional monazite streams:

John Selby was appointed as a monazite / radiation / environmental consultant to the GWMG team at Steenkampskraal. He will advise on the processing of additional monazite streams to be used as feedstock in GWMG's rare earth processing and separation facilities in and around Steenkampskraal. Mr. Selby was most recently with Richards Bay Minerals of South Africa, which is 74% owned by Rio Tinto and BHP and is one of the world's foremost producers of titanium minerals, high-purity pig iron, rutile and zircon.

Appointed a Director of Exploration at Steenkampskraal:

Brent Jellicoe was appointed to the position of Director of International Exploration wherein his primary responsibility is to manage the exploration program at Steenkampskraal. In addition, he has been assigned to locate and evaluate new rare earth projects on a global basis.

Progressed on schedule with the Steenkampskraal mine site refurbishment project:

GWMG's refurbishment of the Steenkampskraal mine shaft and ancillary facilities is proceeding on schedule. East Rand Engineering Services was contracted for the refurbishment of the mine access decline, construction of a head gear and winding house, and the installation of underground infrastructure services such as ventilation fans and underground stores. The safety procedures under which all work at the Steenkampskraal site is conducted were approved in June. The approval of the two shops chosen by GWMG for steel fabrication work was issued in July and the fabrication work is now complete. As well, the permanent winder controls are now complete.

Launched an exploration and resource evaluation program at Steenkampskraal:

GWMG selected Drillcorp Africa (Pty) Ltd. ("Drillcorp") as the contractor for the upcoming exploration and resource evaluation program at Steenkampskraal. The first objective of the program is to provide geological information, metallurgical characterization, and assay data in support of a fully compliant National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") resource estimate report on potential ore material stockpiled at surface as well as underground in-situ material. The second objective is to expand the resources at Steenkampskraal.

Achieved strong alloy processing results:

Highlights of the Company's second quarter of alloy processing operations included:

  • Manufacturing / processing revenues from GWMG's wholly owned subsidiaries Less Common Metals Limited ("LCM") and Great Western Technologies Inc. for the 2nd Quarter of 2011 increased by 63% over the 2nd Quarter of 2010.
  • Gross margins on manufacturing / processing operations for the 2nd Quarter 2011 represented an increase of 81% over the same period of 2010.

GWMG Plans for the Upcoming Months:


In the 4th Quarter of 2011, GWMG plans to complete a series of development steps, continuing to move Steenkampskraal toward production by early 2013. For Steenkampskraal, a final agreement with GQD, a series of exploration steps, completion of the mine refurbishment, and resource calculation work are planned. At LCM, the addition of a new furnace will increase plant capacity by approximately 50% for 2012.

The details and projected time frames are as follows:

  • September: Enter into a joint venture agreement with GQD relating to the design, construction, commissioning, training and operations of a Separation Plant that will be located in the Steenkampskraal region.
  • September: Initiate collection of representative mini-bulk samples for metallurgical characterization of the surface rock dumps, tailings dams, and areas of known underground mineralization.
  • September: Launch sampling programs to collect material for assay and geological information from the surface rock dumps, tailings dams, and areas of known underground mineralization that will contribute to an NI 43-101 compliant Resource Estimate.
  • October: Start underground mapping of geological structures and in-situ mineralization plus channel sampling to supplement recent drill hole and historical information that will contribute to an NI 43-101 compliant Resource Estimate.
  • November: SRK is to renew the 3D geological model with new information from evaluation programs and compile the report framework that will contribute to the Resource Estimate Report.
  • December: Complete refurbishment of the mineshaft and associated facilities required for mining operations.
  • December: Complete field acquisition of technical data that will be included in the upcoming NI 43-101 Resource Estimate.
  • December: Complete the concentrator component of the design work for the Chloride Processing Plant which is to be located at the Steenkampskraal mine site.
  • December: Commission the new furnace at Less Common Metals.

Corporate Summary:

GWMG is an integrated rare earth processor. Its specialty alloys are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries. Produced at the Company's wholly owned subsidiaries Less Common Metals Limited in Birkenhead, U.K. and Great Western Technologies Inc. in Troy, Michigan, these alloys contain aluminium, nickel, cobalt and Rare Earth Elements. As part of the Company's vertical integration strategy, GWMG also holds 100% equity ownership in Rareco, which owns a 74% equity interest in the Steenkampskraal Mine. In addition to an exploration program at Steenkampskraal, GWMG holds interests in four active rare earth exploration and development properties in North America.

Inquiries by direct mail should be addressed to Great Western Minerals Group Ltd., 219 Robin Crescent, Saskatoon, SK S7L 6M8.

Certain information set out in this News Release constitutes forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements (often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "expect", "may", "could", "anticipate" or "will" and similar expressions) may describe expectations, opinions or guidance that are not statements of fact and which may be based upon information provided by third parties. Forward-looking statements are based upon the opinions, expectations and estimates of management of GWMG as at the date the statements are made and are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or outcomes to differ materially from those anticipated or implied by such forward-looking statements. Those factors include, but are not limited to, the results of the exploration program, a resource estimate and commencement of production at Steenkampskraal, satisfaction of the conditions precedent with respect to GWMG's offtake agreement, receipt of all required approvals (including those relating to the commencement of production at the Steenkampskraal mine) and risks, uncertainties and other factors that are beyond the control of GWMG, risks associated with the industry in general, commodity prices and exchange rate changes, operational risks associated with exploration, development and production operations, delays or changes in plans, risks associated with the uncertainty of reserve or resource estimates, health and safety risks and the uncertainty of estimates and projections of production, costs and expenses. In light of the risks and uncertainties associated with forward-looking statements, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon forward-looking information. Although GWMG believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements set out in this press release or incorporated herein by reference are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. The forward-looking statements of GWMG contained in this News Release, or incorporated herein by reference, are expressly qualified, in their entirety, by this cautionary statement and the risk factors contained in GWMG's current annual information form available at

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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