Great Western Minerals Group (CVE:GWG) has announced the resignations of three long-standing directors - Gary Billingsley, Jim Engdahl, and Bill McKnight - who will remain available on an "as required" consulting basis to the company.
"We had indicated that as GWMG reaches a new phase, moving toward production at Steenkampskraal, our company will be best served with a new CEO," said interim president and CEO, Robert Quinn.
"Similarly, it was determined that a transition should also take place at the Board level. The resignations of the three directors will take place on an immediate basis and will pave the way for the addition of directors with significant experience in the development phases upcoming for our company."
The company said it continues to make steady progress with its CEO search process and remains on track for the completion and release of its preliminary economic assessment in the fourth quarter.
Great Western's former producing Steenkampskraal mine is under development through refurbishment, as the company 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, separation of oxides and metal and alloy production.
The company instructed its PEA consultants, Snowden Mining, to extend the original scope of the PEA work to include a new resource estimate for the area of mineralization found at Steenkampskraal in recent months.
"It has been my great pleasure over the past 14 years to watch GWMG develop into the company it is today, poised for significant growth as a vertically-integrated enterprise in the global rare earth market," said outgoing executive chairman Billingsley.
"I eagerly look forward to watching GWMG fulfil its potential under new leadership."
Great Western Minerals 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 (NYSE:LCM) in Birkenhead, U.K. and Great Western Technologies (GWT) in Troy, Michigan, these alloys contain aluminum, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements (NYSEMKT:REE).
As part of its vertical integration strategy, Great Western also holds 100 per cent of Rare Earth Extraction Co. Limited, which owns a 74 per cent equity stake in the Steenkampskraal mine in South Africa.
The current NI 43-101 report for Steenkampskraal, filed on May 31, indicates the presence of 13,823.64 metric tonnes of 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.
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 also holds a portfolio of rare earth exploration properties in North America.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.