Great Western Minerals Broadens Toll Options for REE Separation Services
September 8, 2014 (Source: Marketwired) — Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. (“GWMG” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE: GWG) (OTCQX: GWMGF), a leader in the manufacture and supply of rare earth element-based metal alloys and holder of a low cost, high-grade critical rare earth element mineral property in the Western Cape province of South Africa (“Steenkampskraal” or “SKK”), announced that it allowed its non-binding memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with a provider of rare earth element (“REE”) separation services to expire. The Company announced the MOU on April 8, 2014.
With expiration of the MOU, the Company is relieved of the exclusivity requirement contained in the MOU, which enables GWMG to engage in discussions with other operators for contract separation services while continuing conversations with the original separation service provider. The feasibility study for the SKK project was premised upon the Company being subject to an economically reasonable tolling arrangement for the separation of the mixed rare earth carbonate concentrate that will be produced at SKK.
Marc LeVier, Company President and CEO, commented, “Expanding our options regarding separation services enables us to advance our efforts more effectively. Toll processing reduces certain upfront capital costs, removes a substantial amount of risk in the start-up of a separation plant and, importantly, shortens the timeline to achieve separated REE production.”
The Company announced the results of the feasibility study for the SKK project on May 8, 2014, which can be found at www.gwmg.ca or under the Company’s profile on SEDAR. SKK has a high concentration of critical rare earth elements, such as neodymium, praseodymium, samarium, dysprosium, terbium and gadolinium. These elements are critical in the development of advanced technologies in the automotive, electronic, defense, medical and clean energy industries.
Mr. LeVier added, “The strength of the SKK project is highlighted by its low initial capital cost, high-grade nature, ideal mix of elements present and an expected 50% after tax internal rate of return. The project is focused on what the Company believes are the most marketable rare earth elements which will provide the greatest return on investment and eliminates low or no value elements.”
The Company continues discussions with its bondholders regarding the potential restructuring of its debt.
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Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. is a leader in the manufacture and supply of rare earth element-based metal alloys. Its specialty alloys are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries. Produced at the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Less Common Metals Limited in Ellesmere Port, U.K., these alloys contain transition metals, including nickel, cobalt, iron and rare earth elements. As part of the Company’s vertical integration strategy, GWMG also holds 100% equity ownership in Rare Earth Extraction Co. Limited, which controls the Steenkampskraal monazite mine in South Africa. The Company also holds interests in three rare earth exploration properties in North America that are not active.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Certain information set out in this News Release constitutes forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements (often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as “expect”, “may”, “could”, “anticipate” or “will” and similar expressions (including negative and grammatical variations)) may describe expectations, opinions or guidance that are not statements of fact and which may be based upon information provided by third parties. Certain forward-looking statements in this News Release relate to: the impact of the termination of the MOU; the impact of a toll processing; and the economics of the SKK project. Forward-looking statements are based upon the opinions, expectations and estimates of management of GWMG as at the date the statements are made and are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or outcomes to differ materially from those anticipated or implied by such forward-looking statements. Those factors include, but are not limited to; the assumptions and estimates in the Feasibility Study of the Steenkampskraal project proving to be accurate over time; the construction, commissioning and operation of the proposed monazite processing facility within estimated parameters; mine refurbishment activities; reliance on third parties to meet projected timelines and commencement of production at Steenkampskraal; reliance on successful negotiations with third parties to enter into a tolling arrangement to separate mixed rare earth materials; risks related to the receipt of all required approvals including those relating to the commencement of production at the Steenkampskraal mine, delays in obtaining permits, licenses and operating authorities in Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom, environmental matters, water and land use risks; risks associated with the industry in general, commodity prices and exchange rate changes, operational risks associated with exploration, development and production operations, delays or changes in plans, including those estimated in the feasibility study of the Steenkampskraal project; risks associated with the uncertainty of resource and reserve estimates; health and safety risks; uncertainty of estimates and projections of production, costs and expenses; risks that future Hoidas Lake or Steenkampskraal and region exploration results may not meet exploration or corporate objectives; the adequacy of the Company’s financial resources, including in connection with any possible restructuring of the Company’s bonds and/or the availability of additional cash from operations or from financing on reasonable terms or at all; political risks inherent in South Africa; risks associated with the relationship between GWMG and/or its subsidiaries and communities and governments in Canada and South Africa, radioactivity and related issues, dependence on one mineral project; loss of, and the inability to attract, key personnel; the factors discussed in the Company’s public disclosure record; and other factors that could cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated. In light of the risks and uncertainties associated with forward-looking statements, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon forward-looking information. Although GWMG believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements set out in this press release or incorporated herein by reference are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Except as required by law, GWMG does not assume any obligation to update forward looking statements as set out in this news release. The forward-looking statements of GWMG contained in this News Release, or incorporated herein by reference, are expressly qualified, in their entirety, by this cautionary statement and the risk factors contained in GWMG’s Annual Information Form available under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com.
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