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Kimberley Rare Earths Deputy Chairman Appointment Highlights Growth Focus

Kimberley Rare Earths (ASX: KRE) is increasing its focus on value adding initiatives at the corporate and asset level, and has appointed Jon Parker as deputy chairman.

The company is assessing a number of opportunities to consolidate rare earth and non-rare earth projects with near-term production potential.

These projects would provide cash flow to support the ongoing development of Kimberley's rare earth assets.

Parker, a non-executive director of Kimberley, has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, along with 30 years of broad strategic and management experience in the resource and energy sectors.

He joins Kimberley from Norton Gold Fields (ASX: NGF), where he was managing director, with a focus on acquiring, developing and operating gold mines.

Parker's other experience includes roles in iron ore, energy, kaolin and aluminium with Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO), managing director of Felix Resources in coal, and managing director of Aulron Energy in coal, iron ore and direct iron smelting.

Rare earth projects

Kimberley is advancing the Cummins Range Rare Earth Project in Western Australia and the Malilongue Rare Earth Project in Mozambique.

Last month, the company identified a new prospect at Malilongue, which hosts a 2 kilometre long tantalum surface anomaly.

High values of tantalum in this area are consistent with 2007 test pit results which returned assays exceeding 150 parts per million tantalum.

These results confirm Kimberley's view that the Malilongue project is extremely prospective for multiple commodities.

The company plans to follow up on the discovery with drill testing during the 2012 field season.

Meanwhile, a systematic soil sampling program at the Chigaio mine at Malilongue aims to assist with identifying future drill targets.

Highlighting the progress that has been made at Malilongue since high impact exploration began in mid-March 2012, Kimberley Rare Earths has completed ground radiometric, soil sampling, stream sediment sampling and grid-based Nitron XRF surveys.

At the Cummins Range project, Kimberley has defined a simple process flow sheet to produce saleable rare earth products.

The customised flow sheet enables the beneficiation of rare earth ore into a mineral concentrate using a froth flotation process.

This is of particular importance given the geological and mineralogical diversity of rare earth deposits and the complexity of extracting and separating multiple metal-based products.

Development of the flow sheet represents a milestone in the overall process flow sheet for Cummins Range, paving the way for the company to confirm a downstream separation flow sheet using existing conventional technologies.

Kimberley Rare Earths finished the March quarter with $12.9 million in cash reserves.

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