EDITOR: | January 20th, 2015 | 163 Comments

Why you never put “Great” in your company name.

| January 20, 2015 | 163 Comments

The Oxford Dictionary has this to say:

Oxford dictionaryglacial
Line breaks: gla|cial
Pronunciation: /ˈɡleɪsɪəl  , -ʃ(ə)l/
Definition of glacial in English:
Extremely slow (like the movement of a glacier):
‘an official described progress in the talks as glacial’

First Mover Disadvantage?

Back in the dim distant past when Molycorp was the bizarrely named subsidiary of a major company and out of the public eye, back when Avalon’s main project was tin in Nova Scotia (smirk) and when most of the rest of the Rare Earth crowd were not even a twinkle in a promoter’s eye there was Great Western. This company was Ur-REE stock and that potentially gave it a headstart on everyone else. It was a takeover target (from Molycorp) when the rest of the space were in short trousers. It was (potentially) vertically integrated (with Less Common Metals and the facility in Troy Michigan) some years before Molycorp bought Silmet. It was doing everything right.

The iconoclastic former management are gone though and the new crew at the company then hewed to the “tried and untrue” modus operandi of the rest of the REE space with the obsession with consultants, who scarcely could name the Lanthanide Series in 2009 and suddenly became rent-a-gurus applying tenets that applied for other metals to the altogether more complicated REE dominion. Budgets blew-out and the timetable to production went the way of the Dodo.

In any case, in the Rare Earth Stakes, Great Western “threw a shoe” at the first turn and has been plodding along ever since.


The Tailings/Ore Stockpile

When GWG first appeared on my radar screen one of the chief attractions was that it had not only a past producing mine (which only Molycorp, which was then private, could boast of) but also a substantial tailings/ore stockpile resource that was sometimes mentioned as grading 7% TREE. Even Molycorp didn’t have any exploitable tailings of note.

The trend in recent times of turning to old rockpiles that frequently have higher grades than in the legacy deposits underground has been a welcome one. The processing usually does not have any mining cost besides moving the material to the processing plant and frequently it is already crushed to a size that is able to go straight into the concentrating process or at least does not need the expense of heavy-duty initial jaw-crushing. Alas in the case of Great Western in their rush for size, the initial plans went out the window and tailings became a mere sideshow. However we have gone back through the filings of the company and in our opinion the tailings and ore stockpile were a resource not to be sneezed at and could have helped GWG achieve production (and cashflow) much faster than it is likely to do. Indeed it would be in production now and the credibility bump from having done so would have made it a stand-out name.

To quote Venmyn Deloitte’s Report on the Feasibility Study.. “The Historic Main Rock Dump is composed of heterogeneous material consisting of a mixture of REE-enriched monazite material and granitoid country rock varying in size from clay grain size fractions through to boulders >1m in size. The Historic Main Rock Dump was wedge-shaped and draped over the south-eastern slope of the Steenkampskraal Koppie east of the existing inclined shaft.

The Historic Small Rock Dump located near the top of the Steenkampskraal Koppie, and was created during the 1950 to 1951 surface exploitation of the mineralised monazite vein by the Vanrhynsdorp Mining Syndicate and was composed predominantly of monazite mineralisation.

The Anglo American Corporation mining activities from 1952 to 1963 resulted in the development of two separate TSF’s within the Steenkampskraal Project area, variously named the Upper, SD1 or Tailings Dump 1 and the Lower, SD2 or Tailings Dump 2. The two facilities contain REE bearing material composed of partially processed, oxidised fines from the historic Anglo American Corporation plant.

In 1986 Anglo American Prospecting Services (Pty) Ltd (Palmer 1986) estimated that around 54,000t of low grade (5% to 8% REO+ThO2) material was estimated to be present on the waste dumps and within the historic TSFs, quoted as diluted RoM based on a minimum stope width of 91cm (Jones, 2012).

In 1996 Rareco prepared an estimate (non-NI43-101) that was undertaken by Mendelsohn, the results of which were:

  • 43,500t of historic TSF on surface containing 9.52% REO; and
  • 41,500t in the waste rock dumps containing 5 to 7% REO.

The 2011 drilling and pit sampling campaign indicated that the Historic Main Rock Dump contained approximately 41,500t mineralised material at an approximate mean grade of 4.81% TREO+Y2O3”.

The fact that this RICHLY-mineralized material has been largely ignored (except for mass earthmoving of the tailings/ore from one place to another) leaves us unsurprised that GWG has turned a first mover advantage into an also-ran status.

Pilot Plant

Back in the distant past when the Engdahl/Billingsley/Malashewski team ruled the roost the initial plan at Steenkampskraal was put to me as a Chinese inspired “cheap and cheerful” processing operation that would be “plastic tubing and corrugated sheet iron”. The mooted budget was a back of the envelope $25mn, if I recall rightly. This was music to my ears as everywhere around me I was surrounding by braying promoters for the other REE companies that were talking of budgets that would make a Pharaoh blush.

For the last 18 months, I have been looking favorably at anyone that can take a pilot plant, morph it into a small scale mining operation and then (hopefully) self-fund to a larger operation.

Great Western have gone the other way, starting modest and then throwing caution to the wind with Cecil B. De Mille-like gusto. It looks like the Blair Witch Project morphed into the Ten Commandments. All this coincided with the chances of getting funded for any type of project going into sharp retreat.

In eschewing a “soft” start-up using the tailings being put through a “right-sized” plant GWG not only missed the boat but waved at it as it was sailing away..


We have often compared the Rare Earth space to a horse race. The allusion has served us well as life has come to mimic art (or sport, as the case may be). However to continue in that vein, GWG is like the horse that gets to start halfway around the course…way ahead of all the others and yet still manages to throw away this advantage. It has become less of a sprinter and more of a plodding cart-horse.

What to do? Well many businesses outside the mining space are prone  to changing plans once they have started building things in response to changed market conditions. Too often in mining alas the “path not taken” is not to be considered even when it is not too far down the track to double back and set things back on the right course. GWG has complicated things though by piling on debt which has become its cruel taskmaster that drives it forward on a mistaken path when economic reality would suggest pursuing another outcome. Whether GWG can return to the “small is beautiful” course is now doubtful and, if not, then it just risks becoming yet another salutary lesson in how not to do it.


InvestorIntel.com is a leading online source of investor information that provides public market coverage for both investors and industry alike. A qualified online influencer through ... <Read more about InvestorIntel>

Copyright © 2021 InvestorIntel Corp. All rights reserved. More & Disclaimer »


  • Tracy Weslosky

    I have already received 2 emails on this analysis and am encouraging the writers to comment here. The shareholders of $GWMG were literally groupies of the previous management and we all want to know what is really happening here….thank you for taking on one of the most political topics in our sector.

    January 20, 2015 - 11:04 AM

  • Jake

    Really Tracy? Literally groupies? While I agree with much in the article — and the only thing left is a renegotiation of the bonds that Jim so graciously saddled the company with — I really do take offense a the “groupies” comments. Maybe you should go back and rewatch your own interviews with Mr. Engdahl. You had a prime opportunity as a journalist to ask him the circumstances of him leaving Great Western. Then he makes a statement that he was given Hoidas as a part of leaving…. Did you question him on that? No. You let such an outrageous statement stand until pressed by your readers for clarification. Let’s not even get started on his “fully funded” statement.
    Great Western shareholders — the ones who are not groupies– are left holding the bag of what was once — even in Jack Lifton’s opinion– wait, was he a groupie?– the most promising REE company and have been unable to get answers about what really took place behind the scenes.
    Can they renegotiate the bonds? If they do, what will be left for the shareholders? It is a sickening situation but I would imagine the Lynas shareholders (are they groupies?) and the molycorp shareholders and most of other REE space shareholders feel.
    Thanks for the kick when we are already down…

    January 20, 2015 - 11:43 AM

    • Tracy Weslosky

      It’s been a few months Jake since you have graced us with your presence. In the past, I loved — the energy of the GWMG shareholders, and thoroughly enjoyed the energy that the former leadership could rally. Going to give you a ‘secret’ and let you know that we have Jack Lifton doing an interview with Jim Engdahl, who now runs with Star Minerals (aptly named) with Gary Billingsley (yes, the same) that we should have published by next week.

      Not sure why your so personally offended by the term ‘groupie’ but in my experience, we often get upset by things that hit a chord in us by other people. Used to be in the music business and we LOVED groupies, as they bought records: and kept our business alive. Would love to see more groupies stand behind a few stories in the market — as this offers a real win-win when management and shareholders, respect each other: and can build off of their respective energy.

      Either way, thank you for visiting and offering your comments. It was way past due for us to do a story on GWMG, and well: QUEST is on my list…

      January 20, 2015 - 12:04 PM

  • sunrize

    Tracy, Jack Lifton was a shareholder of GWMG, and was the biggest groupie of previous management. And the most vocal with the most bombastic language you could ever read published this side of the pond, with lessons in Chinese history added for good measure. Lately, that bombastic torch had been carried by Ecclestone on the other side of the pond. Don’t you love it, Tracy?

    January 20, 2015 - 11:50 AM

  • Mr. kean

    The analysts have been nothing but wrong on here. I’m putting a bid on GWG.

    January 20, 2015 - 11:58 AM

  • Springtrader

    Chris. I’m a longtime shareholder of GWG and can’t find anything in your article to disagree with. The tailings were, and still are, the way to get this show started. There was some recent speculation that Mintek might be utilized to toll the tailings to help provide some cheap feedstock to LCM, but nothing has been said of that by GWG management. It had to be found buried in Mintek’s annual report. I’m still hopeful that Marc LeVier can get the funding necessary to keep the project alive. Hopefully the $90 million from the bonds was at least used to complete the refurbishment of the Steenkampskraal mine and it will be ready to operate if a few more dominos fall. Maybe the bondholders are waiting for one more interest payment in April before they finalize a restructuring, which will maybe allow some new financing, which will hopefully lead to the announcement of a separation toller. I have to admit that the silence from management is maddening.

    January 20, 2015 - 12:06 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    That’s a bit like taking a bullet for the team…!

    January 20, 2015 - 12:11 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    I agree totally….. what’s with the lockjaw when it comes to the tailings potential…?

    January 20, 2015 - 12:13 PM

  • Jake

    “Groupie” , to me, implies blind allegiance which is where I took offense. The only thing shareholders were was blindsided by previous management. “Fully funded” my **s. The strong points of the Great Western’s story remain the same. The drag of the bonds previous management negotiated is hard to escape. Marc LeVier has cut costs to the bone in hopes of negotiated and funding. It makes me sad to think of what could have been under his leadership from the beginning.

    I could care less about an interview with Jim Engdahl or Gary Billingsly. I will never invest any of my money with either of them again. Even if they found a cure for cancer, I am sure they would find a way to screw that up for shareholders as well.

    January 20, 2015 - 12:16 PM

  • Springtrader

    The fact remains that $250 million could retire the existing bonds as well as fund the complete building of the Steenkampskraal operation. How many juniors are hoping to raise much more than that. The Steen deposit has the world’s highest known concentrations of nearly every rare earth element, including the critical rees. Everything we read in the media trumpets the great necessity of the western world securing stable supplies of rare earths. The question is: Why won’t any of the entities that would benefit the most from a producing Steenkampskraal mine chip in toward its completion? Why don’t LCM’s customers help out? They are the ones who don’t want to rely on a fickle China for their rees. What about South Africa? It gives lip service to becoming a rare earth mogul for the world? Can’t they see the prestige they would get if Steen starts operating? Can’t its leaders see far enough forward to realize the employment and tax revenues a producing mine would provide? What about the USA? Aren’t they tired of relying on China for their weapons and tactical system rees? Isn’t Japan concerned that China might turn off the ree tap again like they did before? Surely there must be some imaginative way to fund such a promising enterprise, even if a previous, but now departed, management botched it up earlier. If the funding does occur, and if there isn’t too much dilution in the process, the rise in the stock price could be a beautiful thing.

    January 20, 2015 - 12:41 PM

  • miles

    “Going to give you a ‘secret’ and let you know that we have Jack Lifton doing an interview with Jim Engdahl, who now runs with Star Minerals (aptly named) with Gary Billingsley (yes, the same) that we should have published by next week.”

    Aptly named??? You’ve got to be kidding if you consider those two stars of any kind. A stated claim that never came to be such as being FULLY FINANCED then mortgaging the farm, getting a parachute and jumping to safety. It’s important investors know the history which has transpired with those two. The fact you would have your ‘star’ reporter doing the interview further blurs any true discovery. Talk about laugh out loud!! Carry on, the masses need guidance..

    January 20, 2015 - 12:47 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Springtrader… you could change all the references in your comments from GWG to Molycorp and wind back the clock fours years… what you have just said pretty much airs the rationales doing the rounds back then.. We have moved on since then.. Jack L preached rightsizing like John the Baptist in the wilderness.. they ignored him and now the REE space has a close resemblance to Zombie Apocalypse.. We needed GWG to be iconoclastic not just embracing the same old Golden Calf…

    January 20, 2015 - 12:58 PM

  • Daniel

    Not a Groupie but questions: Would future employer hire Marc LeVier and LCM is a very interesting asset? If Molycorp bought Neo for a billion plus what would the value of Neo be when both Lynas and Molycorp goes into bankruptcy protection in months? I am looking at trillions of dollars damage to the US manufacturing supply chain in side industry as the supply of light rare earth stops.

    January 20, 2015 - 1:26 PM

  • Jack Lifton


    Amen and Hopefully not the end of the lesson. (I note that John the Baptist had his head served up to Salome at the end, but who can remember the name of his actual executioner now)


    January 20, 2015 - 1:32 PM

  • SteauaOilers

    For me, it’s not so much the “Fully Financed” discourse from the previous management that bothers me, but the fact that the previous management didn’t have a clear understanding of the metallurgy of the SKK ore. They were going to construct this and that but they didn’t have full understanding of the metallurgy. No PEA or FS needed, which is fine if you know what you are doing. Then turn back to the PEA idea. The PEA was supposed to be released about the time when the change in management occured and yet for a full year afterwards the new management had to advance/lock-in the metalurgy of the project.

    It’s easy to say now “tailings this/tailing that”, but I believe that the previous management was entirely reliant on the blind hope that the
    Chinese “plastic tubing and corrugated sheet iron” will do the trick with metallurgy.

    So I am asking the supporters of Great Western Minerals at the time who had the chance to speak directly with the previous management, Mr. Ecclestone and Mr. Lifton, did you guys ever ask them about their understanding/testing of the metallurgy of the SKK ore? And if so, where was their confidence coming from?

    January 20, 2015 - 1:33 PM

  • Daniel

    John the Baptist has different possible implications in reference to today’s current Epic changes.
    In relation to the history of the times Rome is no longer standing nor Latin a spoken language.
    The Judeo Christian reference to religion implies war as in extermination of all other religion as other Nations rise to change the status quo. Did you know the Hindus discovered airplanes that could fly horizontally as well as up or down and nuclear power and plastic surgery thousands of years ago. Anyone who disagrees would be exterminated with prejudice.

    January 20, 2015 - 1:45 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Jack, not sure your Dance of the Seven Veils would be a crowd-pleaser! Might be “too much information”..

    January 20, 2015 - 1:54 PM

  • Daniel

    Jack better keep his veil on. The visual information might do permanent damage to the frontal lobes of the crowd.

    January 20, 2015 - 2:00 PM

  • Springtrader

    Chris; The main differences between Molycorp and GWG are that GWG is very strong in critical rees and Molycorp is nearly all La and Ce, as well as the fact that Molycorp had $billions thrown at it with the support of heavyweight Wall Street companies and GWG had to mortgage its soul during a time when funding for mining projects was drying up fast. As for Jack Lifton preaching ‘right sized projects’ if you need me to, I’m sure I can go back a few years to uncover a Youtube video or research article to prove it was GWG he was touting as being the right size even with them being in full production rather than just a tailings operation.

    Also, everybody is always touting the importance of ‘downstream capabilities’ as the real profit generator for the ree industry. GWG has a magnetic alloy producing manufacturer that is world class in Less Common Metals (LCM). LCM is, as far as I know, the only ree alloy manufacturer in the western world and it claims to produce alloys that are equal to, or superior to, any Chinese alloys. They claim their customers are clamoring for all the alloys they can produce. The only thing constraining production and profit from LCM is the difficulty in obtaining ree oxides at a price that is competitive with those paid by Chinese producers. When, and if, GWG is ever able to sell Steenkampskraal oxides to LCM I understand that they will be able to enjoy something like 300% profit margins over what they would be able to market only the oxides for to other end users. This added profit capability wasn’t detailed in GWG’s feasibility study, which on its own merit was profitable enough to merit additional funding. Of all the ree miners, both producing and dreaming, only Molycorp has any sort of downstream manufacturing and they are hamstrung by the fact they mine mostly only light rees. If given the chance, GWG would combine the world’s richest mine with the western world’s best magnet alloy manufacturing to become the flagship of the free rare earth world.

    January 20, 2015 - 2:03 PM

  • wwwater

    Mr. Eccelstone – The groupies that hold 418,738,174 shares are well aware of what went on and do not need a reminder as to what transpired in the past four years. Now, would you be so kind as to summarize what has happened within the compounds of the other rare earth prospects you so generously support. Are they not in the same bucket.
    How many of those so called Rare Earth Prospects you support require in excess of $250 million of support to proceed to the stage of processing and separating their proposed reserves which at this juncture are only at either an indicated or inferred stage and would require additional financing to publish a feasibility study ranging from $10 to $20 million
    Are not those prospects experiencing the same difficulites that GWMG is experiencing. The $250 million would wipe out the $90 million convertible bonds, as mentioned by a previous contributor, and get SKK into full production which would generate $1.381 million for the GROUPIES over the LoM of 13 years based only on the current proven and probable reserves on record.
    Who else is at this stage, yes, mistakes have been made and also name me other rare earth companies that have not made mistakes, some are greater than those made by GWMG.
    Have not the groupies of those companies fallen into the same bracket as you place GWMG SHAREHOLDERS as I prefer to call them

    January 20, 2015 - 2:12 PM

  • Daniel

    Someone or some “Entity” disagrees with you Chris E. accumulation of GWG. Not that I had anything to do with it 🙂

    January 20, 2015 - 2:15 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    wwwater…. you seem to be quoting me saying something about “groupies” when I have never used that word…. nor “roadies”… nor “floozies”.. and I am not sure that my article mentioned any other stocks in the REE space beyond Molycorp.. which I am not promoting… please clarify…

    January 20, 2015 - 2:21 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Sprintrader.. you have definitely “got it”… I agree totally on all you say… but wasn’t it only a few months ago that I heard LCM might be for sale…? ye gads! It is the jewel in the crown… in the absence of anything else going on…

    January 20, 2015 - 2:23 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Or Jack could keep his day job and become a pole-dancer nocturnally!

    January 20, 2015 - 2:27 PM

  • Springtrader

    Chris; I have never heard a peep regarding the sale of LCM. GWG did dispose of GWTI in Michigan which they had always envisioned as being a foothold for further expansion in America. Unfortunately, financial concerns trumped those aspirations and GWTI had to be jettisoned to help stop the outflow of the corporation’s money. The sad fact is that there is currently not enough N. American market to support downstream rare earth processing and there was no hope in sight for GWTI to earn a profit. I am certain that LCM will never be sold, willingly.

    January 20, 2015 - 2:40 PM

  • Daniel

    If you look at the Covenant the sale of LCM requires the consent of the bondholders however having said that there is one Entity that exist that could create a manufacturing supply chain that could make them self sufficient their aspiration….
    Jack as a pole dancer really…you have a very complimentary creative imagination. Keep Dreaming.

    January 20, 2015 - 2:56 PM

  • Alvarita

    There seems to be some talking out of opposite sides of the mouth here. Chris E. criticizes past GWM management for piling on debt, yet Tracy glows about a future interview with the same management who now run Star Minerals, which just happens to be a sponsor of this website. I suppose if one was born yesterday it would not raise an eyebrow or two, but I dare say that some of us weren’t. It is however good for a laugh.

    January 20, 2015 - 3:10 PM

  • Daniel

    I cant blame Chris E. for criticizing past management since I don’t know anything about them. Tracy is pro North American production. I just disagree with the conclusions they came up with and came up with an alternative solution for Canada only. Its more of a North South feud where the US is trying to impose their laws against the sovereignty of Canada and the Govt of Canada is about to enact legislation to criminalize anyone who tries to impose “Buy American” within the jurisdiction of Canada. Its a conflict that has us all taking sides.

    January 20, 2015 - 3:16 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Alvarita… what other non-producer has a debt burden like that of GWG? with so little to show for it?

    My point is that they should have stuck to cheap and cheerful as should EVERYONE!!

    January 20, 2015 - 3:25 PM

  • twtom

    Mr Ecclestone – May I ask what is the reason you are posting pretty much the same article again today that you just posted a couple of months ago?


    January 20, 2015 - 3:27 PM

  • Daniel

    I don’t think Chris E. understands what SKK means in terms of EPIC change to global supply chain. Ucore/Texas etc will be used for American mfg only. Frontier for South Korea. Tas for EU. GWG is the only potential card that could make or break the United States.

    January 20, 2015 - 3:31 PM

  • Fixed

    Chris, would like to know who you heard mention that LCM is for sale? I love your artitcle makes me relize that you, Jack are just analyst who give your opinions on other companies chances of making it to actual production. Would love to hear Marc Levier comment on this. No news from GWMG in a while and even when they have come out with anything it has been very limited information. Would love to know what is really transpiring at GWMG and I see that you, Jack or Tracy don’t know anything either… Wonder what Jim would say if or when Jack interviews him should be interesting. To me GWMG has the “Right Stuff” now if they can just get what they need in financing I bet that would have you Jack and Tracy singing a completly different tune. I respect Marc for not running his mouth about it all…though wish I knew what was happening like all of us. There are enough of us out there speculating on what is going on that have no clue including you and Jack…lol…So keep up the entertainment You and Jack crack me up with your mining and metallurgic “Expertise” Why don’t we leave that to those who actually have it like Marc Levier…LOL…

    January 20, 2015 - 3:38 PM

  • JOE O

    Tracy, Looking forward to hear whats going on with quest?.
    99% chance I am toast with qrm but bought a few more shares since market cap is nil

    January 20, 2015 - 3:42 PM

  • Alvarita

    I didn’t say you were wrong, in fact I agree that taking on that debt was foolish from a business perspective. I’d like to know exactly where all of the money went, which seems to be impossible to find out. Others as well have pointed out that there are two logical possibilities for GWM management’s failure to realize the mine-to-metal “dream”. One is that they’re simply incompetent and therefore grossly miscalculated what was needed to accomplish the goal, or they lied. Take your pick. Then we have Jack Lifton the undisputed HREE expert blowing sunshine all the while until they jumped ship. One would think that Jack should have known how flawed the plan was, having his vast experience in the sector. Does anyone expect us to believe these guys will do a great job with Star Minerals? I guess they do but from my perspective they’re wrong.

    January 20, 2015 - 4:00 PM

  • sunrize

    Get a real job, tracy.Or is this all you could get? Lol.

    January 20, 2015 - 4:06 PM

  • wwwater

    Mr. Ecclestone – In response to your response to “Alvarita”. Here is what SKK has to show. Can any other prospect show a similar infrastructure development.


    January 20, 2015 - 4:11 PM

  • Mr. kean

    There were more posts on here. Where did they go?

    January 20, 2015 - 4:29 PM

  • Big blue

    Was following this discussion earlier , and thought I would return to revisit some of the posts …… Seems like there has been some sensor activity happening ….. A shame really , removes A lot of the credibility of the authors and moderators here

    January 20, 2015 - 5:08 PM

    • Tracy Weslosky

      There is no censor activity.

      January 21, 2015 - 5:44 PM

  • Big blue

    Greasemonkey , do you really appreciate somebody else blacking out the text of any story you’re reading , or would you prefer to see all sides for yourself ?

    January 20, 2015 - 5:12 PM

  • Greasemonkey

    I really thought this was for public discussion and that we could see all responds or what people are thinking , now I do understand to keep a lid on swearing, or defamation but to keep just what you want others to see in your favour that’s a joke

    January 20, 2015 - 5:30 PM

  • Big blue

    Tracy, inviting the writers to respond , by extension is encouraging viewers to respond and extend the discussion forward , your personal affront to GREAT westerns dedicated shareholders with regards to the ” groupie ” reference and your subsequent back peddling and attempt to put a positive spin on the word , puts into question your ability and credibility as an editor / moderator . In my humble opinion editors typically think things through and weigh all possible ramifications from any decisions as to what goes to print , it is also my belief that most people view groupies in a negative light and the fact that you see it the opposite way , might call into question your own character , I suggest a retraction of your inflammatory comment might go a long way towards making reparations…… Thanks for all you do in your attempts to bring information to this dedicated GROUP of investors , frustrated as we all are

    January 20, 2015 - 8:51 PM

  • sunrize

    As always, silence from eccelestone when challenged. Oh wait, he and lifton would like to go off tangent with Judeo Christian references, LOL.
    Are they pissed that GWMG doesn’t pay to advertise on this now lampooned site?

    January 20, 2015 - 9:48 PM

    • Tracy Weslosky

      This is a ridiculous allegation. Christopher Ecclestone is an INDEPEDENT analyst and covers all kinds of companies that are not members. Furthermore, we do NOT censor, and no one has been deleted on this commentary. This said allegations that are incorrect and slanderous will be deleted.

      January 21, 2015 - 5:41 PM

  • Fixed

    Wonder if maybe a future story concerning GWMG could use the fable of GWMG as the tortise and the hare being played by those who think they are so sure of the outcome that the forget to get the facts correct thus fall asleep in the middle of the race forgetting that a REAL PRODUCING MINE DOES NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT…I think Marc Levier may have said that when or before he resigned from TRER’s…Any how consider what if GWMG does get the financing…lol…that would be awesome to here what the naysayers or know it alls would have to say then…lol… The story concerns a Hare who ridicules a slow-moving Tortoise and is challenged by the tortoise to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the race. When the Hare awakes however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him. The story concerns a Hare who ridicules a slow-moving Tortoise and is challenged by the tortoise to a race…. Also love the intense intrest in a company that no longer sponsors this site…

    January 20, 2015 - 9:53 PM

  • Kristian

    Great Lakes Graphite should change its name then..? 😉

    January 20, 2015 - 11:07 PM

  • Jack Lifton

    Gentlemen, and I use that term in its widest (and most diluted) sense, I am surprised by the intensity of the fury that Chris Ecclestone’s commentary has caused. I think that all small investors should look at the fact that most of the junior rare earth ventures raised equity before they had a plan to deploy it effectively and efficiently. Most of the equity was wasted just keeping the ventures going.
    I wish I could point to Bentleys; Booze; and Babes as the result, but I don’t know of any North American, South African, or Australian ventures that were in any way that colorful. The smart guys have noted the various “rich” tailings, and if South African law and regulations coupled with debt settlement negotiations all work out I’m certain the “ore” will wind up somewhere, most likely in China.
    I think that the current management of GWMG should have focused on the rare earth permanent magnet alloy business and continued to buy materials on the open market while offering to toll materials for juniors. This might have gotten institutional investors interested in utilizing that capability to reduce the CAPEX/OPEX necessary to vertically integrate juniors to profitable production points.. There are a number of juniors working to prove out the scale up of non-traditional rare earth separation technologies. One or all of them may well turn out to be a key vendor of services or technologies to the others. Someone should now refocus GWMG to add value by becoming the toll metal and alloy maker for the juniors working on non traditional production of feed stocks for an LCM type operation.


    January 20, 2015 - 11:07 PM

  • Fixed

    Jack just tell TRER to sell their separated REE’s to LCM at a lower price than they are currently buying at. What you mean they have not got anything to sell yet? Well if they or your “Fab Four” every get to that point I bet LCM/GWMG might buy it but in the meantime I think Marc knows what he’s doing but love the fables…lol…

    January 20, 2015 - 11:30 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Kristian…. the Great Lakes have not ceased to be Great…. that I know of…

    January 21, 2015 - 2:29 AM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Greasemonkey…. this site is not a soapbox in a public park. Commentators are expected to be offering constructive additions to the conversations not indulging in ad hominem attacks on Investorintel writers/staff or other commentors.

    Abusive trolls, like offensive drunks in a bar, will be kicked to the curb..

    January 21, 2015 - 4:43 AM

  • Allan Wing

    Wow, a lot of comments. What I get from all this? The fact that a story on Graphite company gets 1 or 2 comments. Maybe that’s a sign of something good.

    January 21, 2015 - 6:29 AM

  • greasemonkey

    Great observation Allan, the moral of this story is If you want great discussion and alots of comments on one compagny , thats the right one (have the word “GREAT” in it ) and the public will speak

    January 21, 2015 - 7:13 AM

  • Tim Ainsworth

    Jack, roughly $3Billion profit taking here: http://www.secform4.com/insider-trading/1489137-3.htm

    Not a single “Bentley; Booze; and Babe”?

    Must have been John the Baptist.

    January 21, 2015 - 9:22 AM

  • Jack Lifton


    I would have understood if I had seen a Bentley or the mass consumption of booze, but the only “babes” I ever saw at a Rare Earth Junior related “conference” were filing their nails in a company booth or holding up old pundits to prevent them from falling on their faces. Someone mentioned in this thread that experts were suddenly being created as if from air during the rare earth boom. So everyone here should note that the instant experts ran down the anchor chain as soon as the ship began to list. Of course they say that the rare earths are finished, but they mean that the junior circus has run out of money. Now it is time for PRODUCTION. I hope you note that the experts who are now telling you to invest in lithium, graphite, and so forth (The same ones who told you the same stories about rare earth juniors) will also exit those spaces when they can no longer pump shares.

    I am interested only in trying to assess the probability that a venture will become a profitable producing natural resource provider.

    I do not think that GWMG as constituted, operated, and managed today has a chance to join the above category.


    January 21, 2015 - 9:44 AM

  • SteauaOilers


    From an economic perspective GWMG Feasibility Study is stronger than the freshly released Tasman Pre-Feasibility Study, and this doesn’t even take into account LCM and its capacity to produce great revenues for GWMG. Plus, Tasman used an inflated price for Dy oxide (25% more than GWMG) in their price deck for economic anlysis.

    I guess my question is : what gives?

    January 21, 2015 - 10:09 AM

  • SteauaOilers

    Correction, Tasman used a price for Dy oxide which is 40% more than the one used by GWMG in their FS.

    January 21, 2015 - 10:14 AM

  • Jake

    Chris and Jack–
    Chris, you say this is not a soapbox in a public park and commentators are supposed to add constructive criticism, etc. You make a comment that “hear” that LCM is for sale. Which in the mind of a GWG shareholder is bombshell news– and you know that– yet you don’t back it up. I “hear” that Tracy and Jack only like companies that pay them. I have actually heard that but does that make it true? There is no way for me to discern this . So I don’t repeat it. But you chose to repeat something you supposedly heard… So I am assuming that you feel it is accurate. So where , in what context, did you hear this information? Do you believe that it is true?

    You feel that GW as currently managed will not become profitable. You have never met with current management, have you? You were also a fan, a groupie if you will, of the “star” previous management which never did a feasibility study , never understood fully the metallurgy and had a napkin based plan , got involved in a malfeasance lawsuit due to lack of oversight, and managed to hamstring the company with a bond raise which allegedly “fully funded” them , then left due to “health reasons” but miraculously recovered enough to pop up as another “star” with Hoidas in their pockets……. Did I miss anything? So my question to you is why say current management can’t do it without explaining why they cant? Is it because you think Marc LeVier is incapable? Or is it the debt? You onced believed the deposit was right sized…. The deposit hasn’t changed. but your opinion has. You now believe that four or five other companies — of which you sit on the boards of two or three — will be “the ones”. Yet, others make ad hominem attacks on you, other commentators, InvestorIntel….
    It is all starting to look like a big shell game and you are all culpable– at the expense of small investors, Since I just said that aloud, i “heard” that ….so it is that’s reasonable to say, right?

    January 21, 2015 - 11:20 AM

  • Big blue

    Jack, in your expert opinion , is gwg even focused on becoming a natural resource provider to r.o.w. , it was my understanding they were primarily concerned with downstream value added production . Are you inferring that they will not be profitable at all ? In any endeavour ….. I can’t wait for your interview with the upstanding new management of star … When will that be on the site

    January 21, 2015 - 11:29 AM

  • Michael Roat

    Dysprosium, terbium and ndpr are on the rebound. Once prices begin increasing and they don’t have to increase by much, demand and restocking will return all at once. Money and investment will pour back into the rare earth sector.

    “In economics, things take longer to happen than you think they will, and then happen faster than you thought they could.”

    January 21, 2015 - 12:05 PM

  • Fixed

    Remember this?…The real problem is one of emotion and human behavior. You cannot move a deposit, so if its not economical with PRESENT technologies then it should be ABANDONED or just “INVENTORIED.” But so many juniors have proceeded to develop dead-ends that the whole “space” has become devalued. I have been fooled not so much by weight and grade arguments but by appeals to magical processes that will easily solve, bypass, or even eliminate problems, and by promises that the radioactive nucleide issues are solvable legally as well as technically. – See more at: https://investorintel.com/rare-earth-intel/investorintelreport-lynas-molycorp-go-bankrupt-says-jack-lifton/#sthash.UjmL5RbI.dpuf

    January 21, 2015 - 1:12 PM

  • Fixed

    Maybe Chris, Jack or Tracy could look into this and give us in inside scoope on what is going on as of today with this. RARE EARTHS
    Mintek has enhanced the reputation
    of its competence in rare earth processing internationally through high quality conference presentations as well as excellent references from local and international clients. the Mintek paper presented at the CoM 2013 Ree Symposium in Canada, has been selected to be published in the peer reviewed Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly, while Avalon Rare Metals have been very complimentary in their investors presentations and media releases about their cooperation with Mintek and the process development work done by Mintek for them. the Hydrometallurgy Division (HMD)
    also showcased its Rare earth
    element (Ree) processing expertise internationally with a presentation of
    a paper at the MS&t ’13 (Materials Science and technology) Conference
    in Montréal, Canada from 27 October – 31 october 2013. this paper was well accepted and attracted much interest.
    It is expected that a positive spinoff of this interest will be seen as soon as the Ree projects that were put on hold due to the poor business climate in 2013 are resumed.
    the work on the Ree pilot separation facility has progressed well and the plant is complete. Due to insights gained from test work done for a
    large Canadian client, the scope of
    the pilot plant had been expanded to include a feed preparation stage prior to refining. The process development work on the cracking, extraction and impurity removal has been completed in parallel and the main focus remains on developing a flow sheet that can accept material from a variety of sources
    and produce a feed of consistent composition for the separation process.
    Comprehensive process simulations and mass balance calculations had been done to investigate the influence of different feed sources on the flow sheet design of the central cracking and purification facility. These models can now be used to do scenario planning in order to evaluate the Capex and opex impacts of the potential feed stocks on a centralised Ree processing facility. to this end the Steenkampskraal’s Rare earth carbonate material is currently being treated in a pilot campaign in
    a joint project with Mintek. the entire circuit as designed from the laboratory phase of work is being followed with the
    aim of confirming design parameters for the full-scale plant. Improved Ree concentrate grade on the lofdal project has been attained through the usage of Vertical High Gradient pulsed Magnetic Separator (VHGpMS).
    Due to the continued concern about Ree availability, there has been continued interest in South Africa’s
    Rare earth deposits. ores from Zandkopsdrift, Steenkampskraal and lofdal have been investigated to assess their upgrading potential and to optimise the metallurgical flowsheet.
    Ree projects have reached feasibility and bankable stages with continued work on ores from Steenkampskraal and lofdal. X-ray sorting of Ree ores has shown that it is possible to reject barren waste and results obtained
    are comparable with dense media separation (DMS).

    January 21, 2015 - 1:55 PM

  • Greasemonkey

    Sorry Tracy but I saw at least four post delete, two for sure from sunrise and one of mine , this will probably be auto-delete also in 10..9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1……

    January 21, 2015 - 6:58 PM

  • walbangerharvey

    Right on! Finally, someone is calling a “groupie” a “groupie”! The aquatic one long has led this “group of groupies” on the Stockhouse board, many responding here, that has refused to deal with changed and changing reality. Agree that this company HAD “Great” potential given its early start and existing downstream facilities. But “questionable” leadership (the reward was an HREE deposit!) and them unbearable debt pretty much has doomed this company, thus Mr. Market’s .03 cent share price. It now seems unlikely that the South African geography of Steen will lure investors when all juniors are scrambling for financing. In contrast, check out today’s NR from Tasman and the encouraging video from Ucore–the weeding out process among the ree wannabes is well under way.

    January 21, 2015 - 8:38 PM

  • Mr. kean

    Someone seems upset.guess a disgruntled GW investor that took his lumps. I’m down 35 percent on Ucore. And won’t average down till it gets to 10 cents. Also down 70 percent on medallion. Have a bid in for GW to become a groupie. See if that one offsets my current paper losses.

    January 21, 2015 - 10:12 PM

  • Fixed

    The criticism of GWMG is so crazy…they are so much further along than any other REE company outside of China that is not already producing …it is maddening to see the so called expert analysts having no clue on what they are talking about. The only thing standing in GWMG’s way to success is having the money to complete the plan. Hopefully Marc will come out soon with what is going on till then this circus will continue with the analyst clowns saying ridiculus things like what was written in the piece…. but it is truly entertaining…lol…

    January 21, 2015 - 10:42 PM

  • walbangerharvey

    Daniel: GWMG as the only card that can make or break the US in terms of ree? Say what? You do know that the Steen potential mine is in SOUTH AFRICA, half way around the world? Also, not exactly the most stable and reliable of governments. Don’t be so naïve as to think the nationalizing ANC is out of the picture for good. Much more linked to a secure NATIONAL ree industry would be AMERICA’S own UCORE and Rare Earth Resources. Seems to me Texas is just too unproven as to processing and about as low in ree as the dirt in you back yard and unlikely to contribute to American ree security.

    January 21, 2015 - 10:51 PM

  • walbangerharvey

    Fixed: You state that “The only thing standing in the way of GWMG’s way to success is having the money to complete the plan”. Don’t you think that applies to most ree wannabes? But Stockhouse board groupies just don’t seem to understand that, given the debt structure/realities of the company, even if funding of some kind is realized it is very unlikely that shareholders will reap any financial rewards for that success. That is the only thing that should interest shareholders, not if the company succeeds.

    January 22, 2015 - 2:59 AM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Harvey…. besides reminding me of my favorite 1980s cocktail.. you are spot on (I still have a bottle of Galliano stashed somewhere)… is it not the truism of our times times that “if only this company had money it would be Goldcorp/Molycorp/BHP”? In the case of GWG, the small change is a trifling $250mn… beyond that though we have the issue for all of the REE companies that the MORE that goes into the capex the higher the revenues must be and the harder it is to make an adequate return on funds invested.. being an old-fashioned chap I look for a ROCE… which in the case of GWG would need to be a bottom line of $25mn per annum… as MCP have shown the revenues have never matched the model (let alone being enough to service the debt) without considering what would have been an adequate return on its (sometime) multi-billion dollar market cap… or even the equity of the entity after its fabulously successful IPO on the NYSE… its the mining equivalent of pets.com

    January 22, 2015 - 3:17 AM

  • Jakeslicks

    I copied and pasted a paragraph from an interview you did for “The Gold Report” on May ,5 2014 below. You were asked which REE projects stands out and your first response was GWMG then you mentioned a few other junior companies as well.
    In your response at the end of the sentence you state that GWMG management doesn’t want to bring it into production due to this grim market.
    Can you tell me how you know that and if it has any more merit than your comment that You made that you heard a rumor that LCM might be put up for sale?

    TGR: In a recent interview, Asian Metals Analyst Zachary Schumacher said, “Very few REE projects stand out.” Which ones stand out for you?

    CE: Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.’s (GWG:TSX.V; GWMGF:OTCQX) project in South Africa is one. Steenkampskraal is an old thorium mine with phenomenal grades in its gigantic tailings. It should be in operation now, but the company seems to be going a bit soft on the pedal because it doesn’t want to come to production in this grim market.

    January 22, 2015 - 9:43 AM

  • Fixed

    Short answer is no absolutely not it does not apply to any other REE wannabe out there. GWMG is far more advanced and so close to production that IF they had the financing let’s say today they would be putting shovels in the ground and ore into the benification plant then shipping it to toller from there to LCM and to customers. Not one other REE company in ROW can do that…LOL…That is why I laugh at how blind you all are or maybe time will tell regardless of what WE say think or do… So now we just wait. But my point is companies like the “Fab Four” have a long road ahead to even get close to what GWMG has right now, today… Don’t even need to mention LCM nobody else has that….lol….

    January 22, 2015 - 9:45 AM

  • Fixed

    If we only knew what Marc Levier knows right now today what would we say? That is what is agravating the so called experts they want to know but don’t and haven’t been included because GWMG doesn’t care what they think or need there advice. GWMG are doing it living it they ARE the real thing not “i wish I could run a company” …lol… Marc is actually a real CEO who was specifically brought in to put GWMG into production and he is still CEO so till he resigns or is replaced we wait… again time will tell who is right and who is wrong and what will we say when it’s all said and done…lol…

    January 22, 2015 - 10:11 AM

  • Springtrader

    Chris; Since you continue to insist on comparing GWG’s unequalled critical ree deposit to that of MCP’s with its uneconomical light ree dominant operation, and since you seem to need to somehow tie GWG’s future prospects, should its Steenkampskraal mine begin operations, to MCP’s ongoing futilities and failures, I’m sorry to say that I have to join some of the other contributors in designating you as a GWG basher. You might as well use the same brush to forecast the future of Tesla Motors using the history of the DeLorean Motor Company as a comparative example.

    You state that, to be an attractive investment to lenders, GWG would need to be able to promise a return on capital employed (ROCE) of 10%. $250 million (retiring the debt and financing the operation) would thence need $25 million return to the lenders. Let’s take a quick look at GWG’s feasibility study (FS) and their downstream manufacturing capabilities to determine if $25 million is unreasonable.

    The FS, dated in May of 2014, projects a 13 year life of mine with revenues of C$1.78 billion. This number doesn’t include any revenues for Ce or La due to their overabundance. This number is also outdated due to the fall of rare earth prices since last May. An earlier commenter, wwwaters, was kind enough to provide this discussion with an up-to-date revenue projection of C$1.38 billion over the 13 years. C$1.38 billion/13 years works out to C$106.15 million in revenue per year. This revenue, even after costs, should go a long way toward meeting your $25 million expectations.

    Now, let’s take a look at GWG’s downstream manufacturing capabilities to see what they might be able to add to GWG’s bottom line and its ability to meet that $25 million. Mr. Lifton suggested that GWG wasn’t paying enough attention to Less Common Metals (LCM) and in his estimable opinion GWG’s predicament can be ascribed directly to that fact. The truth however, is that LCM’s struggles can be attributed to scarce availability of critical oxides in the western world as well as the inflated prices it pays to Chinese suppliers over what Chinese suppliers pay for the same rare earth oxides. This is the reason LCM has been unprofitable to date and it explains GWG’s focus on developing Steenkampskraal in an effort to remove these handicaps. LCM is currently only operating at approximately 15% of capacity and, with fairly priced oxides, could ramp up to 80% in fast time. Nobody disputes that LCM’s customers are ready and willing to buy all LCM can produce, as long as the price is competitive with Chinese suppliers. Steenkampskraal is, in fact, expected to have lower production costs for the critical oxides than even China has and, therefore, LCM alloys will most certainly be in demand.

    The added value LCM will add to Steenkampskraal’s oxides is difficult to estimate, due to GWG’s tight-lipped management and the fact there are no other public companies in the same business to use as models. Mr. Lifton has stated that downstream processing is where the real money is and I use his opinion, as well as those of other analysts I remember reading, to estimate a 300% value add from LCM. For the sake of conservatism, I lower this to 150%. So, if we take the C$106.15 million in Steenkampskraal revenue and add to it the value added by LCM, we arrive at C$265.38 million total yearly GWG revenues. Even after mining and alloy production costs, Chris, do you think Great Western could squeeze out $25 million to satisfy their investors?

    It would be of interest to me, and I’m sure many other investors, if Investorintel pundits would use their journalist credentials to perhaps study and report on downstream processing in the rare earth industry; its types, its demand, and the amount of value it can add. Thanks.

    January 22, 2015 - 10:43 AM

  • twtom

    Mr Ecclestone – Talking about ROCE: Did you ever run the numbers for GWG taking into account that most of the output of Steenkampskraal will be used as input material for LCM ? This is the main difference between GWG and most of the other companies in the rare earth space and this is the reason why Jack Lifton explicitly excluded GWG in former articles when he was talking about mining companies – because GWG is mostly a producer! I did not invest in Great Western because they will be supplying the western world with rare earth oxides…it is because they will be able to improve LCM’s profit margin! And talking about revenues matching the model: LCM’s customers are there! And they have been there for the last 20 years! This is why GWG is a totally differnt story that most of the other companies.

    January 22, 2015 - 10:45 AM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Two things… I doubt LCM would be able to deal with the output from Steenkampskraal if SKK ever even vaguely met volume expectations..

    Secondly, I didn’t know that anyone seriously still believes pharoanic NPV calculations from old Feasibility Studies.. the road to hell was once paved with good intentions but now they use old Feasibility Studies as cobble stones

    January 22, 2015 - 10:58 AM

  • hackenzac

    I still have my “because pets can’t drive” pets.com sock puppet t shirt. Like GWMG, they sounded good in theory but we all know how dot.com 1.0 ended. There were still some winners in the wreckage though just like there will be in the ree space.

    January 22, 2015 - 11:03 AM

  • sunrize

    So eccelestone, after all the numeric data that Springtrader provided in his post, all you could come up with was YOUR fallacious OPINION. I have yet to see a shred of hard facts, numbers or evidence to back up your opinion. Wwwaters numbers have been adjusted to reflect the drop in ree prices, but you seem to ignore that fact as well. Fine. Can’t fix your arrogance or ignorance. Keep wallowing in it then.

    January 22, 2015 - 11:17 AM

  • Jakeslicks

    I sent Great Western Minerals Group an email regarding your stated comment that You heard a rumor that LCM may be up for sale. As a relatively large private investor I was somewhat alarmed by your posted comment.
    I received a prompt reply from gwmg that there was no factual basis of that rumor. Can I ask you where or whom you heard it from?

    January 22, 2015 - 11:36 AM

  • sunrize

    Jakeslicks, could it be that eccelestone read it in the british tabloids? They have a lot of those over there from what I heard.

    January 22, 2015 - 11:50 AM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Commentators might care to wrap their minds about this mystery….


    If LCM uses only 100 tpa of REE oxides, then how does that mesh with the visions around here of some sort of matched vertical integration of LCM and SKK. In quoting from the company’s press release for the FS… “Average annual production of saleable rare earth oxides (“REO”) of 1,512 tonnes”..

    Unless I am mistaken (which everyone seems to think I am…) then SKK is destined to produce fifteen times more REE oxides per annum than LCM can process…

    Then again if the tailings had been processed as feed for the LCM needs then there would have been a match between the upstream and the downstream.. but what do I know!

    January 22, 2015 - 11:56 AM

  • Springtrader

    Chris; LCM is operating at 15% of its current capacity. Plans are in place to purchase additional furnaces and electrolytic cells as soon as financing is in place and production at Steenkampskraal is assured. The time and quality intensive process of proving its alloy quality to customers has already been completed. Ramp up of quantity should be seamless.

    As for questioning whether GWG will be able to meet its production estimates, please note that Steenkampskraal, with its high grade deposit, needs only to process 70,000 tonnes of ore per year, or about 192 tonnes per day, to produce 6000 tonnes of total rees per year to fully supply the needs of LCM. How do these amounts compare to the production projections of your and Mr Lifton’s favorite juniors? Can I expect you to be as dismissive of their abilities to meet their much larger daily volumes of beneficiation as you are of Great Western?

    As for relying on “pharoanic NPV calculations from old Feasibility Studies”, they are, after all, all we have to go on. To GWG’s credit I will say that all numbers are after tax and with a fair 10% discount value used. I looked long and hard for deception in their FS and found none. Also, if you will read my earlier comment again, you will see that I used current ree prices in my revenue calculations.

    I’m wondering, if you are now so against PEA and FS cobblestones, what criteria do you intend to use in the future while arguing for or against the success of other companies you will report on?

    January 22, 2015 - 11:57 AM

  • Tracy Weslosky

    one more useless and senseless point from Sunrize — and I will show you what a Sunset is….

    January 22, 2015 - 12:04 PM

  • Daniel

    “If LCM uses only 100 tpa of REE oxides, then how does that mesh with the visions around here of some sort of matched vertical integration of LCM and SKK. In quoting from the company’s press release for the FS… “Average annual production of saleable rare earth oxides (“REO”) of 1,512 tonnes”..

    Unless I am mistaken (which everyone seems to think I am…) then SKK is destined to produce fifteen times more REE oxides per annum than LCM can process…

    Then again if the tailings had been processed as feed for the LCM needs then there would have been a match between the upstream and the downstream.. but what do I know!”
    Man you are limited and I am being polite e.o.m.

    January 22, 2015 - 12:11 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Springtrader… I am intrigued by your claim that LCM is running at 15% of capacity… is that based on the size of the building or the equipment installed inside that is idled..? I find it hard to believe that 85% of the capacity is idled. If its based on the size of the building then that is NOT unused capacity its unused airspace..

    January 22, 2015 - 12:15 PM

  • Fixed

    Funny how Chris doesn’t understand…lol…He did not know that LCM had moved locations and are set up to add an additional what 4 more “Stripcast” furnaces which the install and ramp up to operation has already been done twice which they I’m sure will have improved on both the furnaces and on install time. So the two furnaces are not at full capacity yet because of being able to purchace what they need at the right priice so once Steen is up and running LCM will be able to come into full production which in turn will only widen their customer base. Try wrapping your mind around that little tidbit and then ask who else in ROW outside of China has that type of capability. Ah GWMG does and once again is “Shovel Ready” Hello?…Lol…

    January 22, 2015 - 12:19 PM

  • sunrize

    Tracy, um, what?

    January 22, 2015 - 12:21 PM

  • Springtrader

    Chris; Your link seems rather old. It isn’t dated but it speaks of 2008 as the future. Things have changed since then. One thing I picked up from it though, is that rare earth costs can add 60% to the price of magnet alloys. Suppose for a moment that LCM could stop paying the $68kg price for Nd and was able to source it from S. Africa for, say, $15kg. Can you see how the profitability picture might be enhanced?

    January 22, 2015 - 12:24 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Apologies…I have not drunk the Kool Aid so I am not having the same visions as the rest of the group here… my bad!

    January 22, 2015 - 12:26 PM

  • Daniel

    Apologies accepted

    January 22, 2015 - 12:29 PM

  • Springtrader

    Chris; LCM moved a few years ago to a state of the art facility that was large enough to accommodate all phases of future growth. They operate at low capacity because of the unavailability of competitively priced oxides they need for production. As it is now, they keep their customers with what they produce, while harboring the hope of someday soon having a safe, secure, and affordable supply of oxides to ramp up production into profitability.

    January 22, 2015 - 12:30 PM

  • hackenzac

    It’s purple Kool Aid and they don’t drink it, they mix it with meth and smoke it. That’s why they tremble and have holes in their brains. On a lighter note, wassup with Molycorp? The stock is getting murderlized.

    January 22, 2015 - 12:37 PM

  • Springtrader

    Chris; That was a good kool-aid joke. Ha Ha. Seriously though, if you or anybody else would like to take a stab at trying to prove a more deserving junior rare earth project than Great Western please feel free to try. I suppose we could start by comparing CAPEX and OPEX, and then we could compare downstream manufacturing profit capabilities and existing customer base. Maybe a comparison of projected annual ore tonnage throughput and rare earth oxide production would be good. I suppose some of you might think mine location is a trumping factor, or maybe some new separation technology is going to make your company’s 1% ree grade mega-times more profitable than GWG’s 16%. Please don’t just say one thing to make your company better. Look at the whole picture. Show me a better glass of Kool-Aid and I’ll drink it.

    January 22, 2015 - 1:03 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    SKK is a great potential project… but also a salutary lesson of how not do it… in fact the REE space is full of more salutary lessons than successful operators… that in itself says much about why we have all been sitting waiting for so long for a Messiah to show how it should be done… might be a long wait…

    January 22, 2015 - 1:19 PM

  • Fixed

    Hey, you want to “Spring” the electrolytic cells that they have successfully used to produce what’s it called again?… Oh yeah neodymium metal with… and how they will increase as additional furnaces come on line or shoul we let the koolaide settle in a little before we hit him with those mind numbing ” facts” Oh and again who else in ROW has those capabilites, outside of China of course maybe the “fab four”?…lol…

    January 22, 2015 - 1:24 PM

  • hackenzac

    You’re in serious denial Spring. The weight of the debt is too much and the additional capex needed is too much for such a high risk location. You’re fixated on what it might be in a perfect world and not what it is now in today;s world; out of money, mothballed, mired in lawsuits and no net revenue because they can’t source cheap enough inputs and they compete with cutthroat Chinese alloy makers. They’re worth more in pieces. As for Tasman and Silmet speculation, throw in LCM and it becomes an intriguing possibility. Molycorp is death rattling today and GWMG, the end is nigh. I’m coming at you from my mother’s basement but this Ecclestone guy, he’s a Formula 1 analyst and he’s saying what I’ve been saying for 2 years. You made a bad bet brother Spring and you’re still in the first phase of grief.

    January 22, 2015 - 1:25 PM

  • walbangerharvey

    One last post here for me on this article as it now is degrading into what the Stockhouse GWG has become. I am not sure that GWMG even is an appropriate topic for an article/discussion on this site as I am convinced little of it now has to do with INVESTING by this group of shareholders. They now constitute something more akin to a cult, which has almost nothing to do with actual investing. How could it with a .03 cent stock with such a performance history? No, this now is much more a closed cult that can’t tolerate anything that is in the least bit critical of THEIR company. In typical fashion, just as with the previous management, they even refer to their CEO with a familial first name, Marc. Kind of like a benevolent uncle. Such total lack of objectivity in investing isn’t even really investing. It is something else and, in this case, is all about their cult, to which many devote literally EVERY DAY to a .03 cent stock. If you doubt that, attempt to challenge these very same members here on their Stockhouse board–they immediately will gang up on such individuals and ridicule them relentlessly. Eventually, most “outsiders” realize it just is best to leave them be so they can continue to enjoy and immerse themselves in their closed little cult.

    January 22, 2015 - 1:26 PM

  • Mr. kean

    Sold my medallion stock and bought GW on the ask. I’m now a hippie groupie everyone. I’ll wait for 20 cents on the pop. Anyone know when rare earth’s will be taxed?

    January 22, 2015 - 1:31 PM

  • Fixed

    Yes SKK does have “GREAT” potential for suppling LCM with a low cost extremly high grade material to have tolled (for now) and sent to LCM… The work that has already been done both above and below ground the pea- check, the feasibility study- check, the benification plant engineered design- check, the- pilot plant- metallurgy-? check and may want to check with minetek, tolling- check again may want to check with toller…lol… and well it goes on and on what GWMG needs is to get the final CHECK- the financing then it’s all aboard the GREAT WESTERN TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION next stop “PRODUCTION”…LOL… That’s the way I see it…

    January 22, 2015 - 1:36 PM

  • Fixed

    Derm and Reinvestorguy two peas in a pod you both are so wrong it’s kind of embarrassing…lol… Oh well GWMG no money wrong… GWMG mired in lawsuites…lol…wrong… GWMG ready for production Right…Keep up the wall eventually it will be broken down for all to see then we can reflect on these glorious days of having absolutley nobody except for Moly and Lynas actually producing anything GWMG is next the rest at best 5 years out and that’s at best… GWMG get financing now give it 24 months to full production? Yeah that’s right and the beauty of that is before 24 months is when Chris’s they forgot the tailings what about the tailings will come into play…lol… It’s not like the tailings are ready to go to toller they need to be treated first…Right?..

    January 22, 2015 - 1:54 PM

  • Springtrader

    Fixed; You have it. Everything is in place and all they need is the money to get the show started. I’m hoping it works out for you.

    January 22, 2015 - 1:55 PM

  • Mr. kean

    Chris. Do you not have an answer for springs question? I drank the Kool aid today OH YEAH

    January 22, 2015 - 2:08 PM

  • hackenzac

    RARECO V. ERES and SRK are fighting in South African court is what I heard from a defendant turned plaintiff, I think y’all know who I’m referring to. What restrictions, liens, charges, recriminations and countersuits, that’s for you to figure out.

    January 22, 2015 - 2:23 PM

  • Fixed

    Yes I know we are right and when you hear of 250 million dollars as if that is alot believe me it is nothing compared to the others like “the fab four” and alot of the money that the others will need has already been paid for thanks to the 90 million that Jim secured for GWMG I wonder if you or anybody could show the world what or where that money went…Point being it was not wasted… The only thing that may have been wasted was the lousy work originally done with or on some parts of the underground mine I think that were not fit for purpose and that of course ties into the whole Moragate stuff which hey learned a lesson… which Marc since coming aboard has staightened out. But hey mistakes happen… Other than that I would venture to bet a good part was paid back in interest to who? and the money spent on steen was not all wasted alot that was done was is good then LCM worth it then look at all the studies and engineering which others have yet to do…So I see the 90 as being what was needed to get GWMG to this point and without it where would GWMG be? not as far along as we are right now is what I’d say… What say you Chris Jack?

    January 22, 2015 - 2:27 PM

  • wwwater

    Mr. Eccelstone – It would appear that I am the one hundredth and second contributor in this discussion and I am amazed at the incompetency of your analytical skill in properly placing GWMG in the top five of the Rare Earth Sector. Your admission that you are unaware of the formulas used in the conversion of rare earth oxides to metal and then on to various magnet producing alloys in no way ranks you as an analyst who provides an investor with investment opportunities. I am now a retired senior citizen of Canada and fully understand the conversion factors involved in producing magnet alloys from a variety of rare earth oxides. Numbers such as content of rare earths in magnets of various grades are available, numbers on converting rare earth oxides to rare earth metal are available and numbers of which rare earth oxides will be slated for Less Common Metals from Steenkampskraal when it is in production are available.
    The lack of even mentioning such data is a clear indication that your motive is to discourage investors in proceeding any further with Due Diligence as you appear to indicate yourself as an expert, which no one is, not even me.
    An analyst purpose is to provide whoever with data so that they, (the investors) can make their own decision. Negative and positive data are used in providing an independent analysis. In your dissertations no positive indicators are even mentioned, it has been the forum contributors who have provided some level of positive indicators. Agreed, there are negative indicators, but do those negative indicators out-weight the positive indicators. In my opinion, I do not think so.

    January 22, 2015 - 2:32 PM

  • sunrize

    You tell ’em Wwwater! Thank you!
    Sunrize, er Sunset

    January 22, 2015 - 2:41 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Great Western is looking like the non-prescription version of Viagra.. it keeps you guys up all night…. good luck to you… leave the groupies to do what groupies do best…

    January 22, 2015 - 2:43 PM

  • JOE O

    yeah cause its gonna be simple getting 250 million after moly goes BK
    I am just hoping TAS and Ucore get theirs
    I have a feeling qrm will be mothballed may next decade?

    January 22, 2015 - 2:44 PM

  • Mr. kean

    So no answer to springs question Chris. Seems strange. Should sell my Ucore at a loss and buy some more GW.

    January 22, 2015 - 2:47 PM

  • Springtrader

    Chris; If you don’t mind, I would like to divert the discussion away from whether or not Great Western is a worthwhile project towards the possible reasons that it might have experienced such a drastic and relentless slide in share price as well as its current predicament in acquiring financing for such a remarkably valuable project.

    I consider myself to be good at valuing companies, but when it comes to the inside and more sinister workings of the market makers and hedge funds I admit to being naïve. From reading your bio above I see you have experience advising and managing hedge funds, so I hope you might be able to enlighten me whether my suspicions of possible hedge fund involvement could be the source of Great Western’s troubles

    Suppose a particular hedge fund, or maybe a consortium, decided to weaken GWG financially to the point where a takeover couldn’t be fought off. I’ve heard before that hedge funds, unlike mutual funds, don’t have to publicly report their long or short holdings. I’ve also heard that some investment groups are able to short many multiple shares of a company’s stock for every share they own. Do you have any insight into whether or not these things are true?

    If these shadowy funds were able to drive GWG stock down to its current low position this would certainly weaken the company, thereby reducing its attractiveness to capital lenders. It would also make any attempts at secondary raises very expensive, as well as playing into the hedge funds hands by providing them with more shares to short.

    If you think I might be right about this, do you have any suggestions of how a person could go about investigating the situation? Would the government be inclined to look into something like this?


    January 22, 2015 - 2:49 PM

  • Fixed

    Derm you make it out to be something bigger than it is. Worst case senerio for GWMG they don’t recoup any money back that was lost do to incompetance but hey Jim should have been on top of it being the “Star” CEO he was… Water under the bridge. Marc has moved on to what matters get the financiing and get to production… that is all that matters… Derm you know nothing of the mora case.

    January 22, 2015 - 2:53 PM

  • Fixed

    Well I’ll leave the conspiracy stock theory alone as far as i am concerned it is what it is… Every stock is at it’s lowest though or close to it and none are at all time highs… what is strange is those furthest from ever producing are not hit as hard as those who are actually producing or in GWMG’s case ready to produce. Again it will be very interesting to see if Jim does an interview with Jack and if so does Jim say anything of interest about GWGM or will Marc come out of the “bat cave” and reveal the secerts of GWMG …lol… sounds like an intro to “days of our lives” Tracy ever thought of doing a reality show with GWMG, Ucore and a few others out there kinda like Gold Rush but have it on REE jr mining companiies if you do I want credit for piching the idea out there…lol…

    January 22, 2015 - 3:13 PM

  • wwwater

    Mr. Eccelstone – I must commend you on bringing “GREAT WESTERN MINERALS GROUP on this forum as it has presented an opportunity for some contributors and investors in expressing their opinions on some the manipulation that has been going on in the Rare Earth Sector.
    Has every junior in the sector been given an honest independent evaluation. Appears not.
    If you will note over 110 contribution have been expressed on your current topic whereas if you reference to previous topics presented by you and other contributors to Investorintel only one have I found that had only a maximum of 37 responses and that subject pertained to GWMG indirectly.

    January 22, 2015 - 3:33 PM

  • Springtrader

    wwwaters; I agree. Good job Chris. I honestly think you could become a rock star if you were to do a few articles on hedge funds and their special powers to move the markets; for good and bad. Think about it. I’m sure Tracy would be on board.

    January 22, 2015 - 3:49 PM

  • Fixed

    So I looked up “Groupie” and I do not consider myself a “Groupie” but wouldn’t mind being a “Rodie” for my favorite rock band ” GWMG” The Rock “Stars” of REE’s soon to be plreforming at “Steenkamps” mine South Africa…LOL…

    January 22, 2015 - 4:57 PM

  • walbangerharvey

    Two words, “rabid” and “paranoid”. Not really a post, just two most appropriate words.

    January 22, 2015 - 6:14 PM

  • Fixed

    So what have we learned from Chris’s article on why you should never put Great in your company name I for one have concluded that the author of this has no clue on what Great Western Minerals Group is has or is…. That groupies are more than what is defined in webster…. a positive thing and that Chris has no Idea of what GWMG has done or will do and Tracy needs to interview Marc to get GWMG’s perspective on their future and Derm and Reeguy are…well… you know…Jack is knowledgable on all things REE except for GWMG hopefully Jim can shed some light on it Marc is not saying anything and Tracy has a GREAT site and smile…lol…

    January 22, 2015 - 6:31 PM

  • Mr. kean

    I want to take Tracy on a date one day

    January 22, 2015 - 8:07 PM

  • Lid

    Man use tools and take care of tools, but man never respect tools, especially tools who talk with copper tune. we consider some people are professional and the others are not because the quality of the person is being weighted, the title that a person is holding is not considered. I can tell you, sometime tool bites. if an analyst can not hold neutral position, can never be respected.

    January 22, 2015 - 8:08 PM

  • walbangerharvey

    Lid: Had not planned to post again on this article but your post demands a response from someone. What in the heck does what you are writing about have to do with the article or Great Western? Men’s “tools”, “tools who talk with copper tune”, biting tools and person being “weighted”? What does it all mean? Translation?

    January 23, 2015 - 12:05 AM

  • walbangerharvey

    Truth: One of the crazed members of the cult displays his/her intelligence and sophistication. LOL, sure does make my point re. GWMG cultists. Too funny.

    January 23, 2015 - 1:58 AM

  • Mr_Truth

    Ree_idiot You never have a useful point. You are by far the biggest loser on the web. Stop stealing good air from the rest of the planet.

    January 23, 2015 - 8:44 AM

  • Mr_Truth

    Wallbanger why aren’t you posting on SH anymore? . I know, it’s because you were banned for being a racist piece of trash, yup a real classy guy. Investortel must be ecstatic having such a racist bigot posting on their site. Unfortunately you will be back on SH in about week. You can post your litter on other sites tell then.

    January 23, 2015 - 9:03 AM

  • walbangerharvey

    “Truth” aka ” Maverick30″ on SH: You just don’t seem to comprehend that this string if for a discussion of the article and GWMG, not the rabid and paranoid rants you post on GWG SH. If ever there was proof of you and that cults true nature, you have provided that. No, I don’t post on SH any more because there is no point, plus I have an actual life. It takes an intense program of intervention to counteract cult brainwashing–I simply don’t care and am content to just let you and your group fill your days (literally!) with your fantasy. Were I in anyway associated with your group, I would be really embarrassed for how totally insane “the group” clearly presents itself, now on display for the world to see on this site. But, not surprisingly, you all think you have scored some kind of victory! lol I see a great sociology Ph.D. thesis topic in your group .Bye bye, Mav.

    January 23, 2015 - 12:05 PM

  • Big blue

    Harveywallbanger , please stop!!!! You’re giving yourself a head ache ….. Have another drink and make your last , last …. Last last , I promise last post , because I have a life last post , please make it the last of the lasts …… Anywhere …. Please please …. I’m begging you

    January 23, 2015 - 4:02 PM

  • Fred

    There are many companies that I like, that I would never invest in. Bottom line is whether I can make money buying the stock. All of the REE companies need financing. Great Western’s strength is also its weakness. It has more moving parts than most of the other REE wannabies. There are more things that can go wrong with it. An investment company would have to set aside much more than the stated CAPEX, just to cover contingencies.

    What I think we’re looking at is a merger/buyout, a semi-governmental agency, or someone of the size of a Warren Buffet. Someone who can work with the company through its growing pains. And after the financing, how much equity is going to be left for existing investors? I’m willing to be convinced. Does anyone have a scenario that both gets the company financed, and puts money in the pockets of existing investors?

    January 24, 2015 - 2:27 AM

  • Curious Shepherd

    I expected more from this article. But looking at the reply from Chris to some of the questions it now seems that the article itself was of a very “high” standard.
    Your answer Chris show very little understanding of the subject at hand and also a lack of professionalism “Kool Aid” “Viagra”, really? is this the best you could do?

    January 24, 2015 - 11:30 AM

  • hackenzac

    What we have heeyuh is a failuuure to communicate. I used to be a health inspector and I had a place I was looking at called Cool Hand Luke’s, a nice enough place, no real issues, a little nickel and diming but they were fine. So I sit them down to go through the report and what a great opportunity to use a classic line from cinema. It went right over their heads. They’d never seen the movie and they were looking at me like I was gonna drop the hammer. What we have here IS a failure to communicate and that responsibility lays squarely with the company. Their last NRs were like we have an MOU with an unnamed toller then it was just kidding, we don’t. Great Western seemingly went awry went they looked East and cut a failed deal with GQD for technology that’s in surplus and apparently about to get superseded by better ones. So what’s in a name? They should have gone more West. It’s a classic zigged when they should have zagged. Plus as was well said, they should have focused on the tailings but what do I know? I think you should put this piece back up front and center Miz Weslosky. It’s the best shit storm ever raised on these venerable pages and very illustrative of how not to do it.

    January 24, 2015 - 12:16 PM

  • Fixed

    O.K. let me explain something to everybody. GWMG has a built mine has a toller in sight has has an designed engineered benification plant a almost complete ready to start construct plant minesite. Been working on it for a while . Have spent a couple years on metallurgy separation techniques… Marc has completed a feasibility study PEA… He is working on optimizing the flow chart… they have already spent millions on basic infrastructure, do I need to keep going on and on with LCM… Cmon people you do not have a vertically integrated REE producing company until all this gets done… GWMG is the Tortoise and the rest are the Hares… and the expert analysts have fallin asleep on the track when they wake up GWMG will be crossing the finish line… The experts will be saying what the… just happened how’d they do that…NO YOU CAN’t DO THAT IT’s NOT FAIR WE WERE SLEEPING YOU CHEATED…. TOO MANY MOVING PARTS TOO RISKY CMON GUYS… What do you think GWMG’s been doing and they are doing it right under you expert noses. Don’t make me say…”I TOLD YOU SO” I won’t bother showing a comparision chart of things that need to be done and are by only one and it’s not the “Fab Four” as you may have been told. Look out the window it’s built it’s there it’s selling highly sophsticated metal alloys to real live magnet manufactuers and they want more. Wake up …

    January 24, 2015 - 8:47 PM

  • Fixed

    wish I could point to Bentleys; Booze; and Babes as the result, but I don’t know of any North American, South African, or Australian ventures that were in any way that colorful. The smart guys have noted the various “rich” tailings, and if South African law and regulations coupled with debt settlement negotiations all work out I’m certain the “ore” will wind up somewhere, most likely in China.
    I think that the current management of GWMG should have focused on the rare earth permanent magnet alloy business and continued to buy materials on the open market while offering to toll materials for juniors. This might have gotten institutional investors interested in utilizing that capability to reduce the CAPEX/OPEX necessary to vertically integrate juniors to profitable production points.. There are a number of juniors working to prove out the scale up of non-traditional rare earth separation technologies. One or all of them may well turn out to be a key vendor of services or technologies to the others. Someone should now refocus GWMG to add value by becoming the toll metal and alloy maker for the juniors working on non traditional production of feed stocks for an LCM type operation. – See more at: https://investorintel.com/rare-earth-intel/never-put-great-company-name/#comment-399411. You know what I wish I wish Marc Levier would read this and put Jack in his place as in you are a analyst not a metallurgist and a CEO and somebody who was brought into a company to do one thing and that is to become a vertically integrated REE company that goes from the mine ( Did I mention HIGHEST grade) to the metal that magnet manufacturers are buying from LCM and they want more alot more…Let the experts say what they say as for Marc he does it I guess he doesn’t have time to talk about it like Chris and Jack Marc has a mine to metal REE company and he is building it as we write and talk…IMAGINE THAT…

    January 24, 2015 - 9:28 PM

  • Tracy Weslosky

    Fixed. I sent an email to Marc Levier this AM asking him to call me for an interview…..perhaps he will see how many shareholders and interested parties he has on InvestorIntel, and oblige. Cheers.

    January 25, 2015 - 8:39 AM

  • Fred

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

    – Market cap under $20 million.

    Debt financing:
    – Existing bonds of $90 million apparently turning sour.
    – $250 million CAPEX for mine needed.
    – LCM production facilities only half built at best, requiring many millions more dollars.
    – Lawsuits to be settled.
    – How much money to settle thorium issues?
    – Tolling? What if they have to build their own purification facilities. And aren’t these facilities going to become obsolete before they’re even built?
    – Several years of losses to be funded, until a profitable business evolves, both for the mine and LCM.
    – Extra money for contingencies.

    Now why should potential financiers give most of future profits to existing
    shareholders, rather than buy them out at a token premium over existing stock prices? Why should I buy this stock?

    January 25, 2015 - 2:46 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Hallelujah, Fred…. after 140 comments of mainly inane droning from trolls and their groupies.. finally someone who gets it…. you are most definitely welcome here any day..

    January 25, 2015 - 2:53 PM

  • Ivan Van Beethoven


    In connection with the two previous posts: As a long-term investor in some REE – companies (TAS, TRER, FRO & GWG) annex follower of this website, I would like to see that one adheres to correct figures and data. Because it is clear that you haven’t read the relevant Feasibility Study, you can find some interesting and enlightening links below.



    January 25, 2015 - 4:59 PM

  • Curious Shepherd

    Chris, from all the reasonable questions you had from such poster as springtrader you jump (7 minutes after it was posted) to reply to Fred. You had the power to set the record straight on this one but instead you have not provided a reasonable answer to anything posted here. What “Fred” said might be partially true but that does not take away the merit of the other questions.
    As Yoda will say “Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you.”

    January 25, 2015 - 8:55 PM

  • Springtrader

    Fred; It’s not quite as bad as you wrote it. I will try to answer your questions.

    The stock price is what it is and that is what makes the market cap. If they announce the funding what do you think the market cap might be?

    $90 million bonds turning sour – True. That is the whole problem and is why people who want to can still say GWG isn’t a good prospective project.

    $250 is not needed for CAPEX. Only $150 million CAPEX is needed to finish the mine AND build beneficiation/chloride plant AND build separation plant. The $250 million being bandied about in earlier comments was used to show how little is needed to get GWG out of debt AND finance the full build out of Steenkampskraal.
    To get a better understanding of the huge CAPEX costs involved in most rare earth projects let’s take a look at some other ree junior companies and their stated CAPEX’s. I see Texas Rare Earths needs $250 million for Round Top, Avalon needs $902 million for Nechalacho, Ucore needs $246 million for Bokan, Tasman needs $378 million for Norra Karr, and Matamec needs $374 million for its Kipawa project. If these other companies think they have a good shot at financing their projects, why shouldn’t GWG have an equally good shot at financing Steenkampskraal?

    These numbers show that GWG hasn’t dug itself too deep of a debt burden to be able to escape from. GWG’s low CAPEX is directly attributable to the exceptionally high ree grade of its deposit. Per ‘Technology Metals Research’ (TMR) Steenkampskraal has 16% total rees in it’s ore. TMR lists Texas Rare Earths at 0.06%, Avalon at 1.43%, Ucore at 0.61%, Tasman at 0.59%, and Matamec at 0.40%. Look at those numbers! GWG’s deposit is 11 times richer than the best of them and 266 times better than the least of them; Texas Rare Earths. Take a minute to try to understand the bewilderment of GWG groupies when highly respected world renowned rare earth experts pick Texas Rare Earths with its 0.06% grade over GWG with its 16%. The same expert(s) try to convince everybody that a new and exciting separation technology is going to make Ucore’s 0.61% more profitable than GWG can ever hope to become with its 16%. Come on! Consider how huge the crushing and beneficiation plants have to be for those other companies to handle the huge amounts of ore they will have to process to get a profit from those miniscule ree grades. Now consider how small GWG’s plants can be due to the very high grade of its ore. GWG’s CEO stated their plants won’t have to be bigger than pilot plants at Steenkampskraal.

    Maybe, you say, GWG has great total ree numbers, but heavy and critical rees are where the money is. Maybe , you say, GWG is no different than Molycorp and Lynas and they have struggled because all they have is light rees. Let’s take a look at TMR again again to see what GWG looks like in the ‘skew’ of things. Jack Lifton stated the rees he believes are the most critical neodymium, dysprosium, terbium, yttrium, and europium. TMR says GWG’s deposit has the highest concentrations per ton of neodymium, dysprosium, terbium, and yttrium. The one critical ree Steenkampskraal doesn’t have the richest supply of is europium. Is that enough to write GWG off as a failure? I’m no expert, you’ll have to ask Mr. Lifton.

    If anybody wants to say GWG hasn’t done anything lately to prepare their project, take a look at the feasibility study published May of 2014. They expanded proven resources with infill and exploratory drilling. They completed the plans for both their production plants and are certain of the costs, unlike others, who in the PEA stage can under estimate costs by something like 40% and still have their numbers be acceptable. They have in hand needed environmental approvals and nearly all permits. What other companies that are touted by the experts can state the same?

    Maybe the argument against GWG is the fact they only have a 13 year mine life. Maybe people need to understand that in that 13 years GWG will produce more rees than most of these other companies will be able to produce in 30 years. GWG also has prospecting rights over an area probably 50 times larger than what has already been drilled. The area is decsribed as showing outcroppings of monazite as far as the eye can see! The mine life is only 13 years because that is all that has been drilled!

    LCM is built currently large enough to handle the current production that supply constrictions allow. Would you rather GWG spend money they don’t have to expand LCM before Steenkampskraal is able to supply it with enough feedstock to make the expansion pay? That would be foolish. The plans are there to grow LCM when the time is right, and it isn’t as expensive as you may think. Even at its current size, LCM is postitioned to be an earnings monster should Steen be put into production. Perhaps wwwater might share some of his revenue projections to show you. His projections are honest and wait only for Steenkampskraal to become operational for them to become accurate.

    As for lawsuits, I don’t know how they are going. Maybe Tracy can get Marc LeVier to update us on them. I will say that there isn’t anything there to derail the building process we are hoping to begin.

    Thorium is no problem at all. One of the permits GWG has is an allowance to store the thorium on-site in concrete. Also, the tailings that Mr. Ecclestone talks about were originally the waste from thorium mining, so I don’t think there is much thorium left in them. Again: Thorium is no problem.

    As far as separation tolling goes, my belief is that they have the agreement ready and just need the financing before they can announce it. That’s only my opinion though. Let me ask this: How do all the other juniors stand on their separation plans? Do any of them have tolling agreements? Do they have the plans completed for their separation plants like GWG does? It would be nice if we could be sure GWG has its tolling needs finalized, but it can’t be a weakness in relation to the others if none of them have even begun planning theirs.

    You say that you expect several years of losses to be funded even after Steenkampskraal is operating, but I say that the profits will start pouring in almost immediately when LCM starts paying something like $15kg for neodymium intead of $70 and quickly ramps up its existing production from 15% of capacity to 80% or more. The customers are clamoring for product. It will be a money machine!

    Now the big question you ask: “Why should potential financiers give most of future profits to existing shareholders, rather than buy them out at a token premium over existing stock prices? My answer to that is to look at the responses to this article written by hedge fund manager Chris Ecclestone. The response was overwhelming! The GWG groupies know this project should be a go, and if it doesn’t go it will only be because it was stolen by Fleet Street swindlers and Wall Street pirates. There is a lot of righteous anger displayed and a lot of craziness to boot. This world has become a violently unpredictable place and people are fed up with being cheated time and again out of what is rightfully theirs. If it should turn out that GWG never gets financing and the bondholders take things over, and if they think it’s going to be business as usual and the sheep will lose their fleece without retaliation, that’s their bet to make. We made our bets and are still waiting to see the final cards.

    As to why you should buy in, I don’t know. It’s your money invest it where you want. I will say though, that if GWG gets the financing they need there would be worse places to bet the house.

    January 25, 2015 - 9:32 PM

  • Curious Shepherd

    Hallelujah, Springtrader…. after 143 comments you still continue to show who really gets it. 🙂
    Tracy/Chris this is the type of answers I would expect from the experts but I’m glad that others can fill in the details.

    January 25, 2015 - 10:06 PM

  • SteauaOilers

    Great job Springtrader, this is a fine example of how the discussion is truly enhanced by thoughtful and clear commentary. You would think that Mr. Ecclestone will take the time to respond in kind, but based on his commentary to this article I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    In fact, like many others, I take offence on being called a “Troll” or “Groupie” by him.

    Springtarder, you talked about the Capex of GWMG project compared to other REE projects. What about other aspects of the economic analysis? Did anyone bother to mention that the PEA from Tasman uses a price deck where Dy oxide is quoted 40% higher than the price used by Great Western Minerals in their FS ($575 vs $410 per kg)? That’s important, as Tasman is touting their project based on their skew towards Dy. Even using such inflated prices, the economic freasibility of the Tasman project doesn’t compare with the one of Great Western.

    You would think again that a reputable analyst as Mr. Ecclestone will comment on this fact (he just wrote a column on Tasman PFS!), but instead he choses to call FS of Great Western “pharaonic”.

    All the best to all, including Mr. Ecclestone.

    January 25, 2015 - 10:16 PM

  • SteauaOilers

    correction: I meant to say that the PFS of Tasman (not the PEA) uses an inflated price for Dy oxide compared to Great Western Minerals.

    January 25, 2015 - 10:18 PM

  • Fixed

    Bravo Springtrader Bravo…That was “Awesome” wish Chris or Jack would take that on point by point…to show their “Expertise” but we’ll see…lol…”GREAT” Job!

    January 25, 2015 - 10:19 PM

  • Springtrader

    Thank you for the positive feedback. It won’t be easy for anybody to argue against the overwhelming superiority of the Steenkampskraal project and the downstream processing capabilities of LCM, just as it isn’t easy for me to argue against shadowy insinuations against the competence of GWG’s current management. It will be up to those individuals to battle for respect on their own. Tracy sent the e-mail and that’s all she can do. So now we wait.

    January 25, 2015 - 10:33 PM

  • Fred

    So perhaps things aren’t as dire as I had depicted. But even with the rosiest of scenarios, when fully financed, Great Western would still be a highly leveraged company. So we’re still at the basic question: why should a potential lender not just take control of the company, instead of letting the company (and stockholders) keep future profits?

    As per other REE companies, Ucore has promises from Alaska for most of its financing, Tasman has very serious interest from Western Europe, having already received grant money. TRER has continuously dropped its CAPEX, and could continue to do so, in that it could be mined by heap leaching.

    As per tolling, everyone needs their ores processed. But Great Western also has a need for the end product of the purification, to use as feed for LCM. Most of the others can sell REE carbonate concentrate into the market. Granted that the market would have to be developed, but this wouldn’t necessarily require much financing by the miners for creating new technology. I think their news releases on new extraction/purification processes are an attempt to jump start new cost efficient techniques, without putting much of their own money into it.

    If the current bondholders aren’t kept happy, Great Western will be their company, and this wouldn’t be good for shareholders.

    I’m of the opinion that the mine will be developed. I just don’t see how most of the profits will flow to the shareholders, in that potential lenders have a strong enough hand to demand most or all of the future profits. This could change when the financing of mines becomes fashionable again. Can Great Western wait for this?

    January 25, 2015 - 10:58 PM

  • Springtrader

    Fred; Good questions. Here are some for you:

    What company in the ree space won’t be heavily leveraged or highly diluted should any of them ever find the financing they need? Are any of them well enough financed to do their project on their own?

    Do you know that Ucore has to prove that their 0.61% ree grade will be profitable before Alaska will give them any money? 0.61% = 6.1 pounds of ree per 1000 lbs of ore mined. Of that 6.1 lbs how much is sellable and how much is oversupplied? How much will the mining costs be before they can have tons of anything for sale? They aren’t a slam dunk by any means, and personally I don’t think they’ll hit anywhere near the rim. Their only hope is skyrocketing ree prices.

    As for TRER, their CEO was ousted once for supposedly exaggerating the value of his mountain. There is a murky history there that maybe Tracy can ask Marc LeVier about if he accepts her interview offer. He was involved there for a time. I’d like to know more about it all. But, its easy to spout great numbers to sell a project. I would be leery of any lowered costs claims. Remember that TRER has only a 0.061% grade of total rare earths Think about how much earth they will have to move to get any amount of sellable product. How does he back up his claims of a greatly reduced CAPEX? That would be a great subject for an investigatory report by Investorintel.

    As for purification of the oxides, LCM already makes metals from oxides using state of the art electrolysis methods. How they do it is all beyond me, but I know part of their future expansion plans include the purchase of more electrolysis machines. Oh, and are you trying to show a weakness in having LCM as a direct customer, while all the other miners will be able to sell their oxides to currently non-existent end users except the Chinese? LCM is a great strength, as are their customers Aichi in Japan and Vacuumshmelze in Germany…among others. Highly respected rare earth experts expound on the need for downstream manufacturing. Don’t listen to me; listen to them.

    Go ahead and keep repeating the bondholders and their upper hand. That’s the way it is until either it’s over for GWG or GWG gets some money. If they get the money you won’t be able to ask about them anymore. They are the ONE THING holding up this show.

    All I want is some respect for what they have done and what they are trying to do. How is it that GWG can not even make the top 4 in InvestorIntel expert analyses of the most promising rare earth projects. If they know something I don’t then they should come out with it.

    Have a good night.

    January 25, 2015 - 11:47 PM

  • Fred

    Springtrader, I’m not concerned about leverage as a theoretical concept. But if you don’t have any financing lined up, then potential lenders are going to give considerable thought to leverage. Alaska has already offered financing for Ucore, while Tasman is developing a project that both Sweden and Western Europe (through EURARE) have stated that they want to happen. TRER can be mined by the same techniques used by the illegal REE miners in Asia, and their techniques (dissolving REEs with acids) are cheap. TRER’s challenge is not trashing the environment. In TRER’s favor is that Texas tends to be friendly to mining.

    REE projects are only of economic worth if someone finance’s them. South Africa could if they wanted to. Or Great Western could float a securities issue as a royalty trust. But, without existing revenue from the mine, a securities issue would be difficult to float.

    Tasman, Ucore, and TRER all have ore bodies that are right at the surface, near serious infrastructure, decreasing their mining costs. So they could thrive with lower REE percentages. Tasman, for one, is expecting to produce a mixed REE carbonate, for further processing. I can’t remember which potential REE mines want to produce what, but I’ve seen others with the same goal. A REO would have already gone through a toller.

    It is good that Great Western, through LCM, has existing customers. This definitely puts them ahead of the others. Great Western must be seriously contemplating having their customers finance their mine. But then we’re back to the matter of whether Great Western gets to retain most of the mining profits. Financing would likely take form as a royalty trust, similar to oil and gas, or to streaming, similar to Silver Wheaton. In the current REE business world, it appears that Great Western doesn’t have a position of strength in seeking financing, and will find it difficult to get financing without sacrificing most of its mining profits. Ucore and Tasman appear to have solid prospects for being financed, while TRER has a low hurdle to jump. In contrast, Great Western has increasing problems with its credit worthiness, decreasing its ability to attain funding through the conventional channels. The unconventional channels tend to be hungry for a big piece of that profits pie.

    Things can change, but this is the way I see it at the moment.

    January 26, 2015 - 2:19 AM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Ivan, I had read the Feasibility Study… its like the Bible – subject to many interpretations (and in this case without divine intervention).. its a nice feasibility study.. pity it starts off with the wrong premise.. the company made a massive mistake in NOT getting into cashflow by starting small… the FS has no relevance as its like a roadmap to a place the company should not have gone..

    January 26, 2015 - 2:34 AM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Curious… just for the record… I don’t have to answer all of you or even any of you… Fred’s comments were the most succinct assessment of the Path not Taken (after my own of course..)

    January 26, 2015 - 2:55 AM

  • Springtrader

    Fred; It sounds like you know where you want your investment dollars to go. Good for you. I have made the case for GWG and now all we can do is rehash everything I’ve said.

    Texas Rare Earths has a grade of 0.061%. That means that .00061 of its ore is rare earths. That means that they have to mine and process 1639 tons of ore to get 1 ton of rare earths. This assumes a 100% recovery rate. If you think there can ever be a way that can done in a cost efficient way then, by all means, invest in TRER. As for me, it boggles my brain trying to imagine how much of that cheap acid will be required to get even 1 ton of rare earths.

    As for Ucore, as I said earlier, they have to prove the worth of their mine before Alaska will give them anything. Let’s see if they can do that before we have them spending the money.

    I hope you have better luck with them than I have had so far with GWG.

    January 26, 2015 - 8:05 AM

  • Jake

    Let me get this straight…. The editor and contributors call people names and make snarky comments but are surprised that they get the same back. ” we only respond to constructive dialogue!” They cry. Then the editors and contributors get well thought out , constructive posts but do they reply? Nope. Silence or ” I don’t have to answer any of you”. Nice. What I don’t understand is how the editor and contributors cannot see how their behavior – in part– contributed to what went on here. Maybe they should pull up their own past articles on the subject. Maybe they do it to drive up their traffic. I don’t know. But that is why I don’t frequent the site as much and I know others who do not as well. The ” do as i say , not as I do ” crap is very disappointing from professionals such as yourselves.

    January 26, 2015 - 8:46 AM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Jake, In the spirit of free enterprise we will put up a Paypal button and you can pay to ask us a question…. how does that suit you?

    January 26, 2015 - 8:59 AM

  • Jake

    Chris– did tracy not explain how this site works? You put up an article and a comment section is provided (and I thought) encouraged, If you are not interested in the comments of the little people, then perhaps the best model would be to post your articles without a comment section. That way you can say what you would like and not be bothered by thoughts or opinions of others.

    As for the PayPal suggestion, that also might work. But be careful what you wish for…. Wouldn’t that be ironic if no one was willing to pay you for your answers?

    January 26, 2015 - 9:21 AM

  • Mike

    Jake, you hit the nail on the head.

    I would most definitely pay for a membership to a site where qualified experts gave their advice and opinions. However, as this site has shown, anyone can throw a dart at a dartboard.

    And for clarification purposes – I’m not referring to the comments section

    January 26, 2015 - 10:44 AM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    Jake, if no-one paid me then “no harm, no foul”…. it sorts the real players from the grifters… (or should I be calling them groupies?)

    January 26, 2015 - 10:54 AM

  • hackenzac

    Ooooh, ‘grifter’, dem dere’s a fightin word.

    January 26, 2015 - 11:17 AM

  • Big blue

    Chris , nobody is really listening to you any more , you have lost your credibility , but we thank you for getting this all started and providing a venue for some very interesting and valuable assessments / discussions from some very thoughtful and informed contributors …… Yourself NOT included in that group ….. Of course that’s just an opinion of another lowly troll

    January 26, 2015 - 1:14 PM

  • Christopher Ecclestone

    To quote Groucho Marx.. “I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me a member”…. so back to your circular firing squad!

    January 26, 2015 - 1:22 PM

  • SteauaOilers

    Chris, do you mean that InvestorIntel is not worth reading anymore, now that you are a contributor MEMBER?

    January 26, 2015 - 1:33 PM

  • Springtrader

    Chris; Very inciteful…errr…I mean insightful… I think. Oh forget it. You’ve proven your worth to me. Quite a knowledgeable fellow you’ve turned out to be regarding the rare earth industry. Did Tracy ever get back to you about the expose’ series we were talking about you doing on hedge funds and the havoc they can wreak on good companies? I’m still thinking there might be some hedge fund smoke at the root of GWG’s fire.

    January 26, 2015 - 1:40 PM

  • motherearth

    Tracy nothing like mentioning the Great name of GWG and your site gets lots of attention. Now I remember Jack did tell me that if anyone can get GWG going it will be Marc, so I would love to see an interveiw soon with him. I’m sure it took him awhile to build out Newmont, I too believe he can get this done.

    January 28, 2015 - 8:37 AM

    • Tracy Weslosky

      It’s been awhile since I have seen you comment MotherEarth, welcome home…;-)

      Marc has been extended an invitation, even though he is no longer an InvestorIntel member as our audience is indeed interested. I have not heard back from him, but then I have not dialled his cell and made more aggressive efforts. You are the catalyst for me opening up my rolodex, and BTW, Jack has an excellent commentary for Friday on the “great debate” on Christopher’s update on GWMG…..

      January 28, 2015 - 11:00 AM

  • Mike

    Chris – You said “if no-one paid me then “no harm, no foul”…. it sorts the real players from the grifters… (or should I be calling them groupies?)”

    So that is your assumption – that the ‘real players’ would, and are willing to pay for your opinion and anyone who doesn’t is a ‘groupie’????

    There’s a fine line between being self assured and confident, and arrogant presumptuousness… methinks you just crossed it. Maybe it was crossed long ago.

    January 28, 2015 - 11:44 AM

    • Tracy Weslosky

      Ok Mike, enough. Christopher has been more gracious in answering and responding to commentary. I am officially pulling the plug on this commentary series and calling it a wrap. We have had a wonderful debate on this column from Mr. Ecclestone’s analysis on GWMG and he has written a market review today that you can merrily tap dance into.

      Again, I would like to thank everyone for participating. Only on InvestorIntel as I always say….thank you: we would not be here without your support. The ONLY person allowed to make ONE MORE comment shall be Sir Ecclestone himself. Then we can cap this at 160 comments.

      Thanks again everyone!

      January 28, 2015 - 12:06 PM

  • Springtrader

    Hearing that Jack Lifton is going to address the GWG puzzle is great news Tracy. Hopefully he will be able to shed some light on why they are having such difficulty moving forward. Speaking for many, I also hope he devotes a paragraph or two to explain his abrupt departure from being GWG’s greatest public cheerleader a couple years ago. Have a great day.

    January 28, 2015 - 12:14 PM

  • marpal

    Enough with the flowery writing Tracy. “…..that you can merrily tap dance into.” Who talks like that in the professional world?
    Anyway, all that aside. if Marc’s vision is so off, then why did former GWG exec hire him when they abandoned ship? What personally, profitable motives are behind every transaction that transpired from old to new management?
    Besides Hoidas, what else did old management profit themselves with by leaving or are they not done yet?

    January 28, 2015 - 2:55 PM

  • Kitjean

    I echo Springtrader’s comments regarding GWM. I blame no one but myself for concentrating my REE investment dollars into the company based mainly on Mr.Lifton’s persistent and glowing reports on how GWM would emerge as one of the most successful due largely to its business plan of vertical integration. Hasn’t happened yet and IMO Mr. Lifton has not owned up to this major miscalculation.

    January 28, 2015 - 3:25 PM

  • Mike

    Really Tracy – enough?

    I could say the same to you and your associates, but that won’t stop you. So no, it’s not enough. He’s stated his opinion, and I will continue to state mine, thank you very much.

    January 29, 2015 - 10:29 AM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.