Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Great Western Minerals adds mining industry accounting professional to board

Great Western Minerals Group (GWMG) (CVE:GWG) says it has appointed Lenard Boggio to its board of directors, effective immediately. 
The news comes just days after the rare earths processor announced the long-awaited appointment of Marc LeVier to the position of president and CEO. LeVier, who joint the company's board late last year, has been actively involved in overseeing the finalization of the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for Great Western's restart of the Steenkampskraal project in South Africa. 
LeVier's appointment also came immediately after the company announced that it added mining veteran Ron Hochstein to its board of directors. New board member Hochstein has served as the president, CEO and a director of Denison Mines Corp. (TSE:DML) for the past three years. 
The appointments are in preparation for a new stage in the life of the company, as it aims to become a fully integrated rare earth producer.
Boggio was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and its predecessor firm Coopers & Lybrand from 1988 until his retirement in May 2012. During that time, he was leader of the B.C. Mining Group of PwC and an audit practitioner for publicly listed Canadian, U.S. and U.K. mineral resource and energy clients. 
Great Western noted that the scope of his clients' activities included exploration, development and production stage operations in the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia.
More recently, he has been serving as a director and audit chair for Blue Gold Mining Inc., Goldgroup Mining Inc. and Sprott Resource Corp.
"GWMG is exceptionally pleased to announce the appointment of yet another independent Director with significant experience in the mining industry," said new CEO LeVier. 
"Mr. Boggio's expertise as a professional advisor to mining companies, alongside his thorough knowledge of regulatory and public reporting issues, will be very valuable to GWMG as our company continues to become a fully integrated rare earth producer."
The company's former producing Steenkampskraal rare earth mine is under development through refurbishment, as Great Western also builds a rare earth mixed chloride plant and a rare earth solvent extraction separation plant near the mine. 
The aim of the preliminary economic report is to further develop operational and financial projections based on an independent analysis of the mining of rare earth-bearing monazite, extraction to mixed chloride, the separation of oxides and metal and alloy production. 
The company is expecting to release the results of the PEA this month, after extending the original scope of the report to include a new resource estimate for the area of mineralization found at Steenkampskraal in recent months. 
Currently, Great Western is a rare earth processor, whose specialty alloys are used in the magnet, battery, defence and aerospace industries. Produced at the company’s subsidiaries Less Common Metals (LCM) in Birkenhead, U.K. and Great Western Technologies (GWT) in Troy, Michigan, these alloys contain aluminum, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements (REE).  
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.
It holds 100 per cent of Rare Earth Extraction Co. Limited, which owns a 74-per-cent equity stake in the Steenkampskraal mine. It also holds interests in four rare earth exploration and development properties in North America as part of its vertical integration strategy.

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