Thursday, 7 June 2012

Great Western Minerals encounters additional high grade rare earths at Steenkampskraal

Great Western Minerals Group (GWMG)(CVE:GWG) Thursday announced more high grade assay results for its Steenkampskraal rare earth project in South Africa.
The former-producing Steenkampskraal Mine is located approximately 70 km north of the town of Vanrhynsdorp in the Western Cape Province of South Africa and approximately 350 km north of Cape Town.
Among the highlights, assays varying from 0.41 to 45.15 weight percent (wt.%) Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO) plus Yttrium (Y2O3) were encountered, with an average of 19.3 wt.% TREO+Y2O3 from channel and core samples from the main mineralization zone.
The company also found a higher distribution of neodymium, dysprosium and terbium compared to its historical data, all of which are critical elements to Great Western's alloy manufacturing operations.
Great Western Minerals said that of the 1,319 samples collected to date, this report summarizes analytical results from 972.
"Steenkampskraal continues to produce very high grade rare earth assay results," Great Western Minerals' president and chief executive officer Jim Engdahl said.
"We are very pleased that the results to date have continued to meet or exceed the historical data on which GWMG made its decision to acquire the Steenkampskraal project.
"Equally important is the fact that the distribution of rare earth elements which are critical to GWMG's downstream operations has proved to be even higher than the historical data had indicated.
"GWMG considers this to be a strong indication of the potential for a robust project at Steenkampskraal."
Assay results were used for confirmation of historical data and were included in the NI 43-101 resoure report that was released last week. Data included results from undergound channel sampling, drilling HQ core holes, drilling two tailings dams and rock dump sampling.
Among the highlights of underground channel sampling, Great Western said assay results varied from 6.9 to 38.6 wt.% TREO, with the weighted average for all channel samples of 23.4 wt.% TREO and weighted average for all channel samples of 24.5 wt.% TREO+Y2O3.
Phase 1 yielded 127 samples of monazite vein as well as the adjacent hanging wall and footwall material. Samples were collected from 37 channels across three levels and over a strike length of approximately 300 metres of the historic Steenkampskraal Monazite Mine.
The company said that among the highlights of the HQ drill core program, assay results varied from 0.4 to 28.3% wt.% TREO with a weighted average of 12.6 wt.% TREO and a weighted average for all mineralized drill intervals of 13.2 wt.% TREO+Y2O3.
Evaluation drill holes were targeted on the monazite vein to provide information on the character of the mineralization and for the recently completed resource estimate.
Assays from the Hanging wall showed TREO+Y2O3 varied from 1.1 to 4.0 wt.% and averaged 2.2 wt.% while from the footwall TREO+Y2O3 varied from 0.02 to 6.8 wt.% and an average of 2.3 wt.%.
Samplings form the tailings dams showed assays for the Upper Tailings Dam varied from 0.68 to 22.1 wt.% TREO+Y2O3 with an unweighted average of 8.6 wt.% TREO+Y2O3, while assays for the Lower Tailings Dam varied from 0.04 to 24.3 wt.% TREO+Y2O3 with an unweighted average of 8.7 wt.% TREO+Y2O3.
The company said that highlights from rock dump sampling showed assays that varied from 0.14 to 12.11 wt.% TREO+Y2O3 with an arithmetic average of 4.63 wt.% TREO+Y2O3.
Last week, Great Western announcedits initial NI 43-101 resource estimate for its Steenkampskraal rare earth property, which satisfied the release conditions for the remaining funds under its US$90 million convertible bond financing.
The company noted that the NI 43-101 report indicates the presence of 13,823.64 metric tonnes of total rare earth oxides (TREO), including yttrium, under the indicated resource category, and 14,147.76 metric tonnes under the inferred resource category, each using a one per cent cut-off grade.
Great Western combines upstream resource exploration and extraction at its Steenkampskraal mine, with downstream metals processing facilities in the US and UK. The company makes specialty alloys, which are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries.
Its development program at Steenkampskraal is central to ensure a strong flow of feedstock for its downstream processing - the company intends to be one of the first to produce significant quantities of the more valuable heavy rare earth oxides, which are important materials for alloys.
Detailed tables, a drill plan map and all data used in calculating average Rare Earth Oxides and TREO are available at: http://www.gwmg.ca/gwmg-nr-7-jun-12.html.

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