Friday, 8 June 2012

Great Western receives $63.2 million in bond offering funds from Escrow

Great Western Minerals Group (CVE:GWG) (OTCQX:GWMGF) announced Thursday that it has received funds, from its previously announced offering of secured convertible bonds, of about US $63.2 million.
The company noted that the funds were released from escrow on Wednesday, save roughly US $10.8 million that remains in escrow to satisfy interest payments.
Shares in the company were up 2.67 per cent late Thursday afternoon, trading at 38.5 cents.
With the filing of its NI 43-101 report last week, Great Western Minerals Group (GWMC) satisfied the escrow release condition of the remaining convertible bond financing – that totalled US$90 million.
In order to satisfy the condition, the company had to confirm at least 20,000 metric tonnes of TREO, including yttrium, from the measured, indicated and inferred categories using a one per cent cut-off grade.

"The receipt of funds under the offering enables GWMG to continue the development of the Steenkampskraal project and Less Common Metals in a manner that positions our Company be an 'early mover' in the rare earth sector outside of China,” said president and CEO Jim Engdahl.

“To have successfully raised gross proceeds of US $90 Million in today's global financial climate illustrates significant investor confidence in the ability of GWMG to execute its business plan and become 'our own rare earth supplier to our own downstream manufacturing plants'."
Immediately upon closing the offering on April 5, 2012, GWMG received US$10 million.

GWMG is an integrated rare earths processor that combines upstream resource exploration and extraction at its Steenkampskraal mine in South Africa, 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.

Produced at GWMG’s wholly owned subsidiaries Less Common Metals in Birkenhead, U.K. and Great Western Technologies in Troy, Michigan, these alloys contain aluminum, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements.
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.
Last week, the company announced its initial NI 43-101 resource estimate for Steenkampskraal, which satisfied the release conditions for the funds released today.
The integrated rare earths company said it filed the estimate and technical report on SEDAR.
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.
The database provided to Snowden Mining Industry Consultants for the resource estimate at Steenkampskraal, consisted of 67 diamond drill hole samples, of which only 26 drill holes contained assay data, and 67 underground channel samples, of which only 35 contained assay data.
The database provided for the evaluation of the tailings dams comprised information from 151 drill samples.
The rare earths company, which eventually plans to be its own supplier as well as creating a supply certainty for global customers, has several operational targets this year aside from the NI 43-101 report released last week, including the refurbishment of the mine shaft at Steenkampskraal in the first half of this year.
GWMG has said it is on track for this target, as well as for the launch of mining activities by the end of 2012, and the construction of a mixed chloride plant and separation plant near Steenkampsraal in the first half of 2013.
The company also holds 100 per cent equity ownership in Rare Earth Extraction Co., which owns a 74 per cent equity interest in the Steenkampskraal mine.

In addition to an exploration program at Steenkampskraal, GWMG also holds interests in four active rare earth exploration and development properties in North America.
The company is boosting capacity in preparation for its rare earths production coming online, and as demand for the metals continues to grow, and as China increasingly restricts exports.

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