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Great Western closes $17.2 mln private placement financing

Rare earths processor Great Western Minerals (CVE:GWG) said Thursday it has closed its previously announced private placement financing, raising $17.2 million, with proceeds to be used to develop its Steenkampskraal project, in South Africa.

A syndicate of agents  led by Byron Capital Markets and Cormark Securities sold 27.2 million units for 63 cents each. 
Gross proceeds of $17.2 million reflects the full $15 million financing plus $2.16 million tied to the over-allotment option granted to the syndicate, the company said.

Proceeds are intended for the continued development of its Steenkampskraal project in South Africa as well as for general corporate purposes, the junior miner said.

“Successfully closing this financing moves our company one more step forward in its goal of being a fully integrated rare earth producer,” chief executive Jim Engdahl said in a statement.

“As we have noted, having adequate capital on hand puts the company in a much stronger position as we continue to evaluate non-dilutive financing mechanisms such as joint venture off-take agreements and debt instruments for our company’s continued development.”

Great Western produces rare earth specialty alloys that are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries, and are produced by its two subsidiaries: Less Common Metals in Birkenhead, U.K., 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.