Great Western Minerals and GQD says making substantial progress on Steenkampskraal rare earth separation plant
SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN–(Marketwire – Sept. 29, 2011) – Great Western Minerals Group (TSX VENTURE:GWG) (OTCQX:GWMGF) ("GWMG" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that substantial progress is being achieved, with the active participation of Ganzhou Qiandong Rare Earth Group Ltd. ("GQD") of China, in the development work on the rare earth separation plant in the vicinity of Steenkampskraal in South Africa.
n July 25, 2011, GWMG and GQD signed a Heads of Terms that will form the basis of the final agreement (the "Agreement") between the two companies. A new joint venture company, Great Western GQD Rare Earth Materials Co. Ltd., is to be created with GWMG holding 75% ownership and GQD holding 25%.
In the upcoming week, GQD will send a team of six engineers to South Africa to continue detailed discussions with GWMG personnel on the design and construction of the separation plant. GWMG will be represented by two Company Directors, the Chairman of Rare Earth Extraction Co. Ltd., the Steenkampskraal Project Director, and GWMG's metallurgical and technical staff.
GWMG will also host a Steenkampskraal site visit for GQD followed by meetings with Steenkampskraal region government officials to discuss arrangements for utilities and labour requirements for the project. Concurrently, GWMG and GQD representatives will be working on the finalization of the Agreement between the two companies.
Jim Engdahl, President and Chief Officer of GWMG said, "We continue to work our way through the development process for the separation plant with the active participation of GQD. Thanks to the long standing business relationship between GWMG's Less Common Metals and GQD, the minor delay we have experienced in finalizing the Agreement is not preventing GQD from being fully involved in the work on the separation plant, as evidenced by the upcoming meetings and site visit."
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 aluminium, 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.