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Great Western Minerals announces several management appointments

Great Western Minerals (CVE:GWG) said Thursday it has appointed David Kennedy as chief executive of its subsidiary Rare Earth Extraction Co (Rareco).

In his new role, Kennedy is responsible for the development, commissioning and operation of Great Western’s Steenkampskraal rare earth mine, in South Africa.

Kennedy, a co-founder of Less Common Metals, which was later acquired by Great Western Minerals, has served as Great Western's managing director of metals and alloys since 2008.

In addition, he is a chartered engineer and is a member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

Great Western also announced today that it has appointed Ian Higgins to the position of managing director of metals and alloys, replacing Kennedy, with overall responsibility for Less Common Metals and Great Western Technologies, the company's two processing subsidiaries.

Higgins joined Less Common Metals in 2001 and has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of Less Common Metals as well as procurement of rare earth materials from China.

Finally, the company also announced on Thursday the appointment of David Murphy as commercial director of Less Common Metals.

Murphy brings 30 plus years of experience in the rare earths sector with Less Common Metals, and previously with Johnson Matthey Rare Earth Products where he was general manager.

All appointments are effective immediately, the company said in a statement.

"These appointments significantly strengthen our management team and our corporate structure," Great Western’s chief executive, Jim Engdahl, said.

"The appointment of David Kennedy as CEO of Rareco means that our South African operations will be guided by one of the most highly experienced people in the global rare earth industry.

"His background will serve Rareco exceptionally well as he focuses on the Steenkampskraal operation as a future supply source for our alloy processing operations."

Great Western's rare earth specialty alloys are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries, and are produced by its two subsidiaries: Less Common Metals in Birkenhead, UK, and Great Western Technologies in Troy, Michigan.

Aside from its Steenkampskraal mine in South Africa, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company also holds interests in six rare earth exploration properties in North America.