Great Western Minerals Group Announces Steenkampsteenkkraal Rare Earth Project Management Changes
March 5, 2013 (Source: CNW) Saskatoon, SK — Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. (“GWMG” or the “Company”, TSX:V – GWG) is pleased to announce the promotion of Vic Fitzmaurice to the position of Steenkampskraal Managing Director with GWMG’s wholly owned subsidiary, Rare Earth Extraction Co. Limited (“Rareco”) of South Africa.
Mr. Fitzmaurice’s responsibilities include the refurbishment of the Steenkampskraal mine site as well as the development of mixed chloride production and rare earth solvent extraction separation capabilities. He reports directly to GWMG President and Chief Executive Officer Marc LeVier.
In his position as Managing Director he also assumes the leadership role with GWMG’s owner’s representative team that is being assembled to deal with all major contractors. Mr. Fitzmaurice is using his extensive contact base and strong reputation within the South African mining industry to assemble a highly qualified owner’s representative team that thoroughly understands the Steenkampskraal project as well as the regulatory and social impact environments.
Mr. Fitzmaurice, who has held the position of Steenkampskraal Operations General Manager since October 2012, is a Professional Engineer who holds a B.Sc. in Engineering (Mining) along with a Graduate Diploma in Engineering (Mining, Engineering and Mineral Economics) from the University of Witwatersrand. He is a member of the Engineering Council of South Africa, the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Institute of Directors of South Africa and the Association of Mine Managers of South Africa. His significant experience in senior mining positions throughout Africa, Europe and Asia has been with companies that include Aquarius Platinum and De Beers.
GWMG is also pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Neser to the position of Senior Project Manager with Rareco. Mr. Neser has extensive international experience with the development of integrated mineral beneficiation projects. His previous project work includes automation of metallurgical plants, process selection, optimization, construction, process commissioning, and production cost modelling and control.
Mr. Neser holds a Masters in Business Leadership from University of South Africa and a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town. His international experience includes the Sunkar phosphate project in Kazakhstan, Jordan Phosphate Mines, Maaden in Saudi Arabia and the Foskor Group of South Africa. He reports directly to Managing Director Vic Fitzmaurice.
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GWMG President and Chief Executive Officer Marc LeVier said, “The promotion of Mr. Fitzmaurice and the appointment of Mr. Neser to the Rareco team are significant steps forward for our Company because both individuals have very extensive mining and mine development experience. They will be integral to the success of our Company in advancing the Steenkampskraal project on a timely and cost effective basis.”
Additionally, GWMG today announces the resignation of David Kennedy from the position of Chief Executive Officer of Rareco. He will continue his involvement with GWMG as a member of the Company’s board of directors and an advisor to CEO Marc LeVier
GWMG President and Chief Executive Officer Marc LeVier said, “We sincerely thank Mr. Kennedy for his years of service, first at Less Common Metals and subsequently with the Steenkampskraal project. His extensive background in the rare earth business has been important to our strategy of positioning GWMG to become a fully integrated rare earth producer. Mr. Kennedy’s contribution through the development of a highly skilled team at Less Common Metals is greatly appreciated. We are pleased that he will continue his involvement with GWMG as a member of the Company’s board of directors and an advisor to the CEO.”
Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. is engaged in becoming an integrated rare earth producer. Its specialty alloys are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries. Produced at the Company’s wholly owned subsidiaries Less Common Metals Limited in Ellesmere Port, U.K. and Great Western Technologies Inc. in Troy, Michigan, 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 addition to an exploration program at Steenkampskraal, GWMG also holds interests in four rare earth exploration and development properties in North America.
Neither 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) may describe expectations, opinions or guidance that are not statements of fact and which may be based upon information provided by third parties. 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, risks associated with the uncertainty of resource estimates, in particular those relating to Inferred resources; risks relating to estimating grades, in particular where interpolation is used to estimate grades; the successful and timely completion of its preliminary economic assessment at Hoidas Lake; the successful and timely completion and the results of its preliminary economic assessment of the Steenkampskraal project; the construction, commissioning and operation of the proposed monazite processing facility and separation facility and mine refurbishment activities; the adequacy of the Company’s financial resources and the availability of additional cash from operations or from financing on reasonable terms or at all; reliance on third parties to meet projected timelines and commencement of production at Steenkampskraal; 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 China, 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; 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; political risks inherent in South Africa and China; 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 Professional Securities Market listing particulars available at www.sedar.com.
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