Advancing ‘Mine-to-Metal’ vision – Great Western Minerals Group makes significant progress de-risking one of the most robust REE deposits in the world
October 21, 2013 — Tracy Weslosky, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of InvestorIntel, interviews Marc LeVier, President and CEO for Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. (TSXV: GWG | OTCQX: GWMGF), discusses the just-released metallurgical update on Great Western Minerals’ South African Steenkampskraal Rare Earth Project, as well as provides an update on Great Western Mineral’s wholly owned subsidiary, Less Common Metals Limited, the need for a secure line of high-quality sustainable REEs, and some of the competitive advantages Great Western Minerals offers. GWMG is a leader in the manufacture and supply of rare earth–based alloys and high purity metals with a low-cost, high-grade critical rare earth asset. Its specialty alloys are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries. Produced at Great Western Minerals’ wholly owned subsidiaries, Less Common Metals Limited in the UK and Great Western Technologies Inc. in Troy, Michigan, these alloys contain transition metals, including nickel, cobalt, iron and other rare earth elements. As part of the Company’s vertical integration strategy, GWMG also holds 100% equity ownership in Rare Earth Extraction Co. Limited, which controls the former-producing Steenkampskraal monazite mine. Great Western Minerals’ objective is to become a best-in-class developer and sustainable producer of critical rare earths through GWMG’s fully integrated mine-to-metal business model.
Tracy starts by asking Marc to discuss the very robust highlights from Great Western Minerals’ latest announcement. “We started the metallurgical testing in the first quarter of this year. We wanted to go back and ensure we were testing all of our various options, available to us, in treating this monazite mineralogy. The biggest issue is ensuring that you have fully investigated any process development technology options available to you — and that’s what we’ve been working on,” explained LeVier.
Commenting on its subsidiary Less Common Metals, LeVier stated: “Less Common Metals is a world-class metal alloy facility that’s an integral part of our vision: mine to metal. Less Common Metals allows us to use the latest technology in making metal alloy that we provide to our customers in Europe and Japan, particularly neodymium, iron and boron metal alloy. When it comes to rare earth production, LeVier says, “It all boils down to – whether it’s us or anybody else – where are you going to get the material (the metal) to feed into that furnace to make the alloy? And at what price? You can buy it all day long from China at an elevated price. We have to buy it and be able to make a profit. Obviously, that’s the challenge. That’s the reason for having a secure supply line of a high-quality sustainable feed, such as we would achieve with Steenkampskraal.”
In closing, Tracy asked Marc to discuss some of Great Western Minerals’ additional competitive advantages. “I’d like to reemphasize that — regardless of where we are in the process and our studies — I want everybody to remember one thing, this is still an extremely robust project,” said LeVier. “It’s the highest TREO grade, run-of-mine material in the world. It’s the right-sized business model. The high grade allows to us process 150 tonnes per day, which is nowhere near any other project. That processing rate means that we are able to maintain a very low capital requirement and, at the same time, produce very high quality, 5,000 tonnes per annum of TREO concentrate. Those are the values that everyone needs to focus on and remember, because this project’s going to go. This is one that needs to be developed. It needs to be in production for the rest of the world’s supply.”
Disclaimer: Great Western Minerals Group is an advertorial Member of InvestorIntel.
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