Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.

Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.

November 14, 2007 10:32 ET

Great Western Minerals Receives Draft Preliminary Economic Assessment; Announces Breakthrough in Metallurgical Processing

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2007) - Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. ("GWMG" or "the Company")(TSX VENTURE:GWG)(PINK SHEETS:GWMGF) announced today that it has received the initial draft of the Preliminary Economic Assessment Report ("PEAR") from Wardrop Engineering. The draft still has sections which are incomplete and will undergo additional revisions before being finalized.

The objective of this report is to assess the economics of the Hoidas Lake rare earth project under a number of different mining, milling, and processing options in order to identify the most appropriate option. GWMG will now thoroughly review the report to evaluate all of the options presented, assess any deficiencies, and if noted, re-submit the revisions along with new information and data (see below) for the final report.

As indicated in the press release of October 11, 2007, the Company has been carrying out Phase 2 metallurgical testing over the past several months while waiting for the draft PEAR. The goal of this testing was to identify improvements in the metallurgical base case (whole rock hydrochloric acid leaching) by employing other mechanical or chemical technologies that could reduce operating and/or capital costs. The initial results of this testing, conducted by SGS Lakefield, have been very impressive, and appear to represent a major "breakthrough" technology, in terms of metallurgical processing. Subsequent testing is now underway to confirm the initial test results and this data will be used to update the draft PEAR. It is anticipated this will delay the release of the PEAR in final form until the end of the first quarter 2008. The exact turnaround time will be determined by the workload experienced by the outside consultants and laboratories, which currently is extreme.

The new processing technique employs optical sorting technology. This is a mechanized system that continuously separates ore into two or more streams of differing mineral characteristics using optical sensors. The ore is crushed to a specified size and then fed into a surge hopper which in turn feeds the ore, by conveyor belt, to a vibratory feeder that spreads the ore into a single layer. The ore then falls freely through the optical sorter which scans each ore particle (scanning at least 2,000 times per second) and acquires and stores information regarding the characteristics of the particle as it moves through the sorter. A microprocessor then analyzes the data and makes a decision whether or not to reject the particle from the particular stream. A series of high-speed compressed air jets are used to reject material. These sorters are capable of processing up to 300 tonnes of material per hour.

In the case of the Hoidas Lake material, the rock was crushed to one-half inch size and fed through the sorter. The microprocessor software was utilized "off the shelf" and the material was sorted into several different streams. The end result was that the sorter was able to sort the material precisely enough that 92% of the rare earth elements reported to 60% of the retained material. In other words, this technique could reject as waste, 40% of the rock mined, resulting in significantly lower milling costs due to lower transportation, reagent and power costs resulting from less material being milled to recover the majority of the contained rare earth elements. It is anticipated that by calibrating the microprocessor and software to specifically accommodate the Hoidas Lake mineralization, that even more dramatic results can be achieved.

The second Phase 2 test with positive results utilized a technology called Qemscan. This is a scanning electron microscope used to precisely determine where the rare earth elements are located in the mineralization and how they are being liberated using different grind sizes and different reagents. Developmental testing shows the potential for using sulphuric acid and a finer grind to deliver as high a recovery of the rare earth elements as with the hydrochloric acid base case, thereby consuming significantly less acid.

Jim Engdahl, President and CEO of Great Western Minerals Group said, "We are pleased that we have finally received this long-awaited draft, but additional work is still required to complete the final report. However, we are very excited about the extremely positive results we have seen from the Phase 2 metallurgical testing". Engdahl adds, "These results have the effect of doubling our in situ grade and we believe they will significantly improve the project economics in terms of both operating and capital cost, and we need to incorporate them into the economic report; we regret, but expect, this may further delay the final report for 3 or 4 more months, but will be worth the wait."

Engdahl states, "In the meantime, as we complete the Hoidas Phase 2 work, we are moving ahead rapidly on our Utah project with mapping and sampling of the property; detailed analysis of the samples to identify the minerals present in the sands; assaying for all potentially economic elements including rare earths; and prioritizing target areas for follow-up drilling. We expect this field work will be completed and assay results should be received and compiled over the next few months."

Gary L. Billingsley, P.Eng., P.Geo., is the Qualified Person responsible for reviewing the contents of this release.

Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. is a Canadian based company exploring for, and developing, strategic metal resources in North America. Pursuing a vertically-integrated business model, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary Great Western Technologies Inc., located in Troy, Michigan, produces a variety of specialty alloys for use in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries. These "designer" alloys include those containing copper, nickel, cobalt and the rare earth elements.

Jim Engdahl, President

CUSIP: 39141Y 10 3

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.
    Ron Malashewski
    Manager of Investor Relations
    (306) 668-0701
    Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.
    226 Cardinal Crescent
    Saskatoon, SK S7L 6H8