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Great Western appoints two to Steenkampskraal management team

Saskatchewan-based rare earth mineral explorer Great Western Minerals (CVE: GWG) announced on Wednesday the appointments of Witker Zimba and Thabo Khoboko for management positions at the company's Steenkampskraal rare earth project, in South Africa.

The Steenkampskraal mine is located about 70 kilometres north of the town of Vanrhynsdorp, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, roughly 350 kilometres north and west of Cape Town.

In Zimba's new role as plant superintendent, he will be responsible for the development and operation of Great Western’s solvent extraction plant.  Zimba starts on June 27.

Having worked for companies like Nkana Smelter in Kitwe, and Konkola Copper Mines in Chingola, Zambia, he has background experience in flotation, electro wining and solvent extraction plants.

Meanwhile, Khoboko has been appointed as plant metallurgist for the project, and will focus on the operation of the rare earth processing plant at Steenkampskraal from run-of-mine crushing through to rare earth chloride production.

Khoboko, who will start his duties on July 4, has previously worked with companies such as Bateman Engineering and Lesotho Meteorological Services.

"The appointment of these qualified individuals to their respective positions with Great Western Minerals represents yet another concrete step in the development of our company's Steenkampskraal rare earth project,” said president Jim Engdahl.

Great Western's specialty alloys, which contain aluminium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements, are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries.

The company holds a majority stake in the entity that owns the Steenkampskraal rare earth mine in South Africa, and also holds interests in five rare earth exploration properties in North America. Its shares were up 20 cents, or 3.03% to trade at $0.680 on Wednesday as of 1:17 p.m. EST.