NEWS: Great Western Minerals Group Provides Corporate Update
July 29, 2010 — Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Source: Martketwire) — Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. ("GWMG") (TSX VENTURE:GWG) (OTCQX:GWMGF) (PINK SHEETS:GWMGF) today provided an update on recent Rare Earth Elements ("REE") market developments as well as GWMG corporate strategies and projects.
Rare Earth Element (REE) Market Update:
Export reduction by China: GWMG President and CEO Jim Engdahl stated, "This export scale-back from China is simply the latest in a continuous reduction in their export quotas. The 'shrinking supply scenario' is precisely what we projected when we developed our business model that includes GWMG's Rare Earths processing capacity, our planned mining inputs from Steenkampskraal and our exploration properties in North America.
We foresaw reductions in exports from China and exponentially increasing demand globally. And that is precisely what is happening." (Source: GWMG media release July 19, 2010, www.gwmg.ca)
Unified pricing from China: "China's central government plans to publish monthly prices for rare earth metals to avoid producers engaging in cut-throat competition, China Daily reported on Thursday. In the long run, steps will be taken to heighten the influence of domestic miners on the price of the minerals in the global market, China Daily quoted an unnamed source as saying." (Source: Mining Weekly, July 8, 2010, www.miningweekly.com)
Higher pricing expected: "All signs are pointing towards squeezed supply and higher prices to come for Chinese rare earth products. Market sources expect to see a significant rise in prices of rare earths in the coming weeks, due to the sharp reduction in export quotas and steadily rising prices in the domestic market." (Source: Metal Pages, July 9, 2010, www.metal-pages.com)
Corporate Strategy: As part of GWMG's vertical integration strategy, it holds Rare Earths processing capacity, already in place with Less Common Metals (LCM) and Great Western Technologies Inc. (GWTI), an option to negotiate an offtake agreement with respect to the former producing Steenkampskraal mine in South Africa, and seven Rare Earth exploration and development properties in North America. With GWMG's plans to bring the Steenkampskraal Mine into production with Rare Earth Extracting Co. Limited (Rareco), GWMG will complete its fully integrated "mines to markets" supply chain strategy. GWMG will then be positioned to supply its own Rare Earth inputs into the production cycle with the potential to expand beyond its own processing requirements.
Rare Earths Processing:
Less Common Metals, located in Birkenhead, U.K. has an 18 year history of profitable Rare Earths processing. It is proceeding with an expansion through the addition of two additional strip cast furnaces. Production from the first furnace is scheduled for June 2011 and the second furnace in June 2012. This will double the capacity of LCM. Major customers in Europe and Japan have been strongly supportive of this initiative, indicating they could consume all of the expanded production from these strip cast furnaces.
GWMG reports the following exploration updates:
True Blue Project (Yukon): In its joint venture with True North Gems, GWMG has staked additional claims, undertaken chip sampling and soil sampling, and embarked on an aeromagnetic and spectrometric survey. (Source: GWMG media release, July 20, 2010, www.gwmg.ca)
Douglas River (Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan): The focus of the exploration program is to expand the known showings which were originally discovered during the course of uranium exploration. Because of the discovery of high grade yttrium and dysprosium, geological mapping, radiometric prospecting and further sampling of existing trenches was undertaken. (Source: GWGM media release, July 22, 2010, www.gwmg.ca)
Steenkampskraal, South Africa:
Actions to date:
December 2008: GWMG entered into an option agreement with Rareco of Stellenbosch, South Africa to refurbish, re-commission, and operate the underground Steenkampskraal Monazite Mine in the Western Cape, South Africa and negotiate an offtake agreement.
May 2009: Rareco applied for a conversion of the Old Order Mining Right to a New Order Mining Right.
March 2010: GWMG and Rareco entered into an exclusivity agreement that allows both parties to move forward with plans to bring the former operating Steenkampskraal Monazite Mine back into production.
June 2010: The Department of Mineral Resources of South Africa granted a New Order Mining Right to a subsidiary of Rareco with respect to the Steenkampskraal Monazite Mine.
June 2010: GWMG opened an office in South Africa to assist Rareco in moving Steenkampskraal to production at the earliest possible time frame.
June 2010: GWMG launched Phase 1 of the Bankable Feasibility Study process for the Steenkampskraal Monazite Mine.