Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.

TSX VENTURE : GWG
OTCQX : GWMGF


Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.

April 10, 2012 08:00 ET

Great Western Minerals Group Reports Initial Steenkampskraal Rare Earth Assays

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - April 10, 2012) - Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. ("GWMG" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:GWG) (OTCQX:GWMGF) today announced assay results for the first batch of samples taken at the Company's Steenkampskraal rare earth operation in South Africa for confirmation of historic work and for metallurgical purposes. 198 of 841 samples submitted to SGS Canada Inc., including QA/QC blanks, duplicates and standards, are reported at this time.

Assay highlights include:

  • Underground Channel Sampling: Assays ranging from 15.90% Total Rare Earth Oxide ("TREO") to 40.12% TREO with an average of 23.75% TREO.
  • Drill Core: Assays ranging from 0.18% TREO to 31.07% TREO with an average of 13.83% TREO.
  • Surface Tailings: Assays ranging from 3.85% TREO to 12.01% TREO with an average of 7.27% TREO.
  • Comparison to Historical Data: Higher distribution of Neodymium, Dysprosium and Terbium.

GWMG President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Engdahl said, "These preliminary results are extremely encouraging for two reasons. First, the assays reported have either matched or exceeded the historical data. Second, the comparison of Rare Earth Element ("REE") distribution indicates that Neodymium, the primary REE consumed by our wholly owned subsidiary Less Common Metals, is at a higher distribution level than the historical data indicated. While these assay results are preliminary, we are confident that we will be able to confirm and enhance the historic information as we move toward the preparation of a National Instrument 43-101 technical report."

Underground Channel Sampling: The initial batch of 46 samples, representing 16 underground locations, taken on the 2.5 level along the main zone, over a strike length of 250 meters, returned assays ranging from 15.90% TREO to 40.12% TREO across the mineralized zone with a weighted average of 23.75% TREO:

Channel No. From To True Width (m.) TREO %
STK-C016 0.63 1.82 1.19 24.45
STK-C017 0.00 1.80 1.80 15.90
STK-C018 0.48 1.02 0.54 40.12
STK-C019 0.49 0.94 0.45 19.34
STK-C020 0.53 0.89 0.36 37.72
STK-C021 0.00 0.20 0.20 35.74
STK-C022 0.48 1.05 0.57 22.60
STK-C023 0.00 0.81 0.81 18.86
STK-C024 0.80 1.89 1.09 33.38
STK-C025 0.00 0.20 0.20 36.99
STK-C026 0.30 1.23 0.93 15.97
STK-C027 0.00 1.03 1.03 19.40
STK-C028 0.00 1.00 1.00 27.06
STK-C029 0.00 1.45 1.45 26.41
STK-C030 0.00 0.56 0.56 22.65
STK-C031 0.52 1.25 0.73 17.88

Drill Core: The diamond drill program had two primary goals: firstly, to provide information in support of a fully compliant National Instrument 43-101 resource estimate for the area within the main mine site; and secondly, to collect a representative mini-bulk sample for metallurgical testing. The program comprised 39 diamond drill holes totaling 3,780 meters. This included 17 holes for resource confirmation (1,932 meters) and 22 holes dedicated to metallurgical sampling (1,848 meters). The initial assay batch of 47 samples, representing 8 drill holes, returned grades ranging from 0.18% TREO to 31.07% TREO with a weighted average of 13.83% TREO in the mineralized zone:

Core True
Hole No. Dip (deg.) From To Length (m.) Width (m.) TREO %
STK-104C -77 72.14 72.64 0.50 0.50 0.18
STK-104D -77 75.67 76.28 0.61 0.60 16.33
STK-108A -63 84.87 85.49 0.62 0.60 31.07
STK-112B -60 74.44 75.06 0.62 0.62 16.72
STK-114A -76 85.30 85.80 0.50 0.50 9.83
86.84 87.34 0.50 0.50 7.00
STK-114B -76 85.16 85.66 0.50 0.35 9.08
STK-115A -65 114.21 115.42 1.21 1.19 1.07
STK-119 -61 112.30 113.30 1.00 0.98 29.59

Surface Tailings: Results from the first batch of 54 assays ranged from 3.85% TREO to 12.01% TREO with an average of 7.27% TREO.

Comparative of Tested Distribution to Historical Data: The distribution of rare earth oxides across all three sample areas showed significant improvement for those oxides of importance to GWMG and its alloy processing operations which produce permanent magnet alloys:

Core % Channel % Tailings % Historical %
La2O3 20.13 21.30 20.71 21.67
CeO2 45.73 45.78 44.20 46.67
Pr6O11 5.05 5.06 5.12 5.00
Nd2O3 18.15 17.32 17.63 16.67
Sm2O3 2.79 2.79 2.92 2.50
Eu2O3 0.06 0.06 0.07 0.08
Gd2O3 1.99 1.82 2.14 1.67
Tb4O7 0.22 0.22 0.26 0.08
Dy2O3 1.01 0.95 1.23 0.67
Ho2O3 0.15 0.13 0.18 0.05
Er2O3 0.31 0.26 0.36 0.08
Tm2O3 0.03 0.02 0.03 0.07
Yb2O3 0.11 0.10 0.14 0.07
Lu2O3 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Y2O3 4.26 4.17 5.01 5.00
LREO* 91.88 92.25 90.57 92.51
HREO*-Y2O3 3.90 3.58 4.42 2.78
Y2O3 4.26 4.17 5.01 5.00
HREO* 8.12 7.75 9.43 7.78
Total (rounded) 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

*LREO refers to Light Rare Earth Oxides and includes the oxides of lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium and samarium. HREO refers to Heavy Rare Earth Oxides and includes the oxides of europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium thulium ytterbium, lutetium and yttrium. The table above shows the HREO proportion both excluding and including yttrium.

Relative to the historical data, the first batch of assays reported indicate: Neodymium having a distribution increase of between 4% and 9%; Samarium having an increase of between 12% and 18%; Dysprosium having an increase in distribution of between 42% and 84%; and Terbium having a distribution increase of between 175% and 225%. As a group the HREO proportion, not including yttrium, showed an increase of between 29% and 59% over historical values.

With 198 of 841 samples returned to date, final conclusions cannot be determined until all results are received, compiled and interpreted. In addition to Rare Earth Oxide analysis, the samples are also being assayed for copper, gold, silver and phosphate content and such results are pending for all of this set of samples.

Sample preparation, being provided by SGS South Africa at their facility in Johannesburg, includes drying, weighing, crushing, screening, and pulverizing. Analytical work for the sampling programs continues at the SGS Canada Inc. laboratory in Toronto, Ontario using a sodium peroxide fusion procedure with ICP-MS finish. SGS Toronto is accredited to ISO 9001 and operates according to SGS Group standards consistent with ISO 17025 methods at other laboratories. Strict internal quality control procedures were implemented using randomly inserted blanks, duplicates, and certified reference materials (standards), which were blinded to the analytical laboratory.

Results from the analyses at SGS Canada Inc. are evaluated continuously by Brent Jellicoe, a Qualified Person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101. Quality assessment of the results from the current data set indicates acceptable accuracy and precision. Blank analyses also indicated no issues with carry-over contamination.

Gary Billingsley, C.A., P.Eng., P.Geo., Executive Chairman of GMWG, is the Qualified Person responsible for supervising the preparation of the contents of the exploration section of this news release.

The complete assay tables and Steenkampskraal exploration map are located on GWMG's website at:
http://www.gwmg.ca/attach_nr20120410gwmg/figures.cfm

Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. is an integrated Rare Earths 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 aluminum, nickel, cobalt and Rare Earth Elements. As part of the Company's vertical integration strategy, GWMG also holds 100% equity ownership in Rare Earth Extraction Co. Limited, which owns a 74% equity interest in the Steenkampskraal Mine. In addition to an exploration program at Steenkampskraal, GWMG also holds interests in four active Rare Earth exploration and development properties in North America.

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 construction, commissioning and operation of the proposed monazite processing facility and separation facility, mine refurbishment activities, reliance on third parties to meet projected timelines, the results of the exploration program at Steenkampskraal, completion of a resource estimate and commencement of production at Steenkampskraal, risks related to the receipt of all required approvals including those relating to the commencement of production at the Steenkampskraal mine, delays in obtaining permits, licenses and operating authorities in South Africa,environmental matters, water and land use risks, 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, uncertainty of estimates and projections of production, costs and expenses, risks that future Steenkampskraal and region exploration results may not meet exploration or corporate objectives, the availability of additional financing on reasonable terms or at all, political risks inherent in South Africa, risks associated with the relationship between GWMG and/or its subsidiaries and communities and governments in South Africa, radioactivity and related issues, dependence on one mineral project, loss of key personnel, the factors discussed in the Company's public disclosure record, and other factors that could cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated. 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. Except as required by law, GWMG does not assume any obligation to update forward looking statements as set out in this news release. 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 www.sedar.com

CUSIP: 39141Y 10 3

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Contact Information

  • Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.
    Dwight Percy
    Manager of Investor Relations
    (306) 659-4516
    info@gwmg.ca
    www.gwmg.ca

    Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.
    219 Robin Crescent
    Saskatoon, SK
    S7L 6M8