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Great Western CEO to appear on BNN's Commodities segment

Great Western Mineral Group (CVE:GWG) announced Thursday that president and CEO, Jim Engdahl, is scheduled to appear on the Business News Network (BNN) show, Commodities, on Thursday, December 28, at 11:30 am EDT.

Engdahl will discuss the impact of the rare earth export quotas recently announced by the Government of China, and will offer a corporate update on Great Western.

The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company is continuing the development of its Steenkampskraal mine, a past-producing rare earth mine and processing facility in South Africa. Great Western recently completed 2,307 metres of drilling on the property, intended for geological resource delineation, it said.

An NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate for Steenkampskraal is expected for the first half of 2012, with the processing facility to begin full operations on both the mining and processing side by the first quarter of 2013.

Demand for rare earths is booming, as despite being used in relatively small amounts, the metals are necessary to the growing production of energy-efficient green products, mobile electronics and electric vehicles.

Deposits of the metals are not actually rare, but high capital costs, difficult metallurgy, marginal ‘heavy’ rare earths grades, and a lack of people with significant rare earths processing experience are major hurdles to bringing new mines to production, bringing Great Western's advanced Steenkampskraal mine to investors' attention.

China currently produces around 97 percent of global rare earths, but in July of last year, the country announced significant reductions to rare earths export quotas, claiming protection of a strategic and dwindling resource. Since 2006, rare earths prices have increased between 1,000 percent and 10,000 percent.

On the TSX-Venture Exchange, Great Western shares rose 5.06 percent to $0.415, as of 11:56 am EDT.