TSX Venture Symbol: GWG
CUSIP: 39141Y 10 3
SASKATOON, Dec. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.
("GWMG" or the "Company", TSX:V - GWG) today issued an update on issues
pertinent to the Company's progress and status.
Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA"): GWMG plans to issue a media release that contains the results of its
PEA in January 2013. While the Company had targeted the issuance of the
release for the 4th Quarter of 2012 it was determined that the relative complexity of the
PEA, incorporating mining, chloride production, separation, metal
making, alloy manufacturing and product sales, meant that additional
time would be required in order to integrate all components of the
analysis. In addition, during the course of work on the PEA, GWMG made
the decision to undertake a revised resource estimate. This extended,
yet again, the scope of work to be incorporated into the PEA.
Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") Search: The GWMG search committee is in the final stages of the selection
process for a new CEO. The search committee, with the assistance of
Korn Ferry International, has been actively engaged in the evaluation
of several highly qualified candidates who have the requisite skills
with which to lead a complex business operation such as GWMG. The
search committee anticipates it will be in a position to announce the
selection of the CEO early in 2013.
Vredendal Separation Plant Basic Assessment Report: GWMG commissioned Savannah Environmental (Pty) Ltd., of Gauteng, South
Africa, to prepare a Basic Assessment Report ("BAR"), which addresses
all regulatory and environmental requirements for projects located on
the industrial zoned land on which GWMG plans to construct its
separation plant (see GWMG news release August 30, 2012). During the development of the BAR, the Company made the decision to
increase the amount of land designated for the separation plant to 19.9
hectares on the advice of its technical advisor on the project, Ganzhou
Qiandong Rare Earth Group Ltd. ("GQD"). As a result of the site
expansion, a road transport study was necessitated. GWMG anticipates
the expanded report will be submitted to the South African Department
of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning by mid-February 2013.
In addition, a Land Use Planning Ordinance ("LUPO") application is
underway through the Company's consultants, Planning Partners. The
preliminary LUPO application for rezoning has been submitted,
accompanied by information and technical studies from the draft BAR, to
the Matzikama Municipality. It is anticipated the LUPO application
process will be completed by the end of the 1st Quarter of 2013.
Steenkampskraal Mixed Chloride Production Plant: GWMG's mixed chloride production plant contractor, DRA Mineral Projects
(Pty) Ltd., has developed a revised "Work Breakdown Structure" and is
fully engaged in the tendering process for goods and services for the
construction of the mixed chloride plant at the Steenkampskraal site.
GWMG is targeting the 1st Quarter of 2013 for the commencement of on-site construction work.
Director Options: The Company announces that it has granted to newly appointed Company
director, Marc LeVier, 400,000 options to acquire common shares of the
Company. The options are exercisable into common shares of Great
Western Minerals Group Ltd. at a price of $0.22 per share for a period
of five years from the date of grant, December 21, 2012, and will vest
in accordance with the Company's stock option plan.
The Company had previously extended the exercise term for 41,413,723
warrants originally issued on October 19, 2010 and having an exercise
price of $0.45 per Warrant (see GWMG news release December 6, 2012) to January 15, 2013. GWMG announces today that it will not be making
application to the TSX Venture Exchange for further extension of the
Planned Milestones for Early 2013: During the early stages of 2013, GWMG anticipates the execution of a
number of significant milestone events as it continues to develop as a
first mover in the rare earth industry outside of China and one of the
most fully integrated rare earth companies in the world. These
Preliminary Economic Assessment: As noted, the PEA news release
scheduled for January 2013 is to include confirmation of estimated
capital expenditure requirements for the mine, mixed chloride facility
and separation facility, estimated operating expenditures for the fully
integrated business model, a new resource estimate and timelines for
the next steps in the Steenkampskraal construction process.
Significantly, the PEA will enable the Company to publicly discuss
financial projections for the fully integrated business model.
An announcement that production using the new strip cast furnace has
commenced on a commercial basis at the Company's wholly owned
subsidiary Less Common Metals ("LCM") in the United Kingdom.
An announcement that LCM's second strip cast furnace has arrived and is
being commissioned for production.
Updates on the chloride production plant at Steenkampskraal.
Updates on the separation plant at Vredendal.
Updates on the Company's previously announced evaluation of the spinoff
of its non-South African exploration properties.
Additional assay results from the ongoing exploration program at GWMG's
GWMG Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Quinn said,
"We realize the past months have been a trying time for investors.
Company management is aware of the impact of slippages from previously
announced time targets. We remain committed to executing our plan that
will create one of the most highly integrated rare earth companies
outside of China. As we continue through the process with the
milestones noted in this release we believe the market will be able to
see, with increasing clarity, the financial strength of the business
model that has been envisaged since the formation of GWMG."
Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. is engaged in becoming an integrated
rare earth producer. The Company currently produces specialty alloys
which are used in the aerospace, automobile, computer and high-tech
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 iron, 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 South Africa. In addition to an exploration
program at Steenkampskraal, GWMG also holds interests in four active
rare earth exploration and development properties in North America.
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.
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 successful and timely completion of its preliminary economic
assessment at Hoidas Lake; the successful and timely completion and the
results of its preliminary economic assessment of the Steenkampskraal
project, 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 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
Canada, South Africa and China, 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 resource estimates;
health and safety risks; uncertainty of estimates and projections of
production, costs and expenses; risks that future Hoidas Lake or
Steenkampskraal and region exploration results may not meet exploration
or corporate objectives; the adequacy of the Company's financial
resources and the availability of additional cash from operations or
from financing on reasonable terms or at all; political risks inherent
in South Africa and China; risks associated with the relationship
between GWMG and/or its subsidiaries and communities and governments in
Canada and South Africa, radioactivity and related issues, dependence
on one mineral project; loss of, and the inability to attract, 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
Professional Securities Market listing particulars available at www.sedar.com.
SOURCE: Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.
For further information:
For further information, please contact Dwight Percy, Manager of Investor Relations at (306) 659-4516. Email inquiries should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org and the company website is located at www.gwmg.ca. Inquiries by direct mail should be addressed to Great Western Minerals Group Ltd., 219 Robin Crescent, Saskatoon, SK S7L 6M8.