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Great Western Minerals Gets Prospecting Rights For Steenkampskraal Surrounding Area

Great Western Minerals Group (CVE:GWG) said Wednesday it will be granted the prospecting rights for the region surrounding its Steenkampskraal rare earth mine in South Africa.

Shares of the junior miner were up 1.7 per cent in the morning at 29.5 cents.

The company received notification for the grant of rights from the department of mineral resources of South Africa.

Great Western made the application for the prospecting rights through its 74 per cent owned subsidiary, Steenkampskraal Monazite Mine Ltd.

The prospecting rights cover roughly 547 square kilometres surrounding the Steenkampskraal mine site.

The rare earth miner said it believes "a number of known monazite outcroppings" outside the Steenkampskraal mine site area warrant exploration work.

This is in addition to "strong exploration results" already reported at the mine site in April, Great Western added.

"Our success in this appeal process is a critical win for the company as it enables us to extend the Steenkampskraal exploration program past the current boundaries and into the surrounding region," said company president and CEO, Jim Engdahl.

"From a long term perspective, for Steenkampskraal and for GWMG, this represents a very important step forward."

Great Western combines upstream resource exploration and extraction at its Steenkampskraal mine in South Africa, with downstream metals processing facilities in the US and UK. The company makes specialty alloys, which are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries.

Its development program at Steenkampskraal is central to ensure a strong flow of feedstock for its downstream processing - as the company intends to be one of the first to produce significant quantities of the more valuable heavy rare earth oxides, which are important materials for alloys.

In early July, the company reported on the latest phase of its drill program at Steenkampskraal, that doubled the area of interest at the site.

The most recent drill intercepts were from four areas surrounding the main mine workings, all outside the previously reported NI 43-101 resource calculation.

Among the highlights of the Western Extension drill program, REE-bearing monazite vein mineralization was encountered in seven of eight drill holes and mineralization was up to 3.73 metres true thickness.

The company said in May an NI 43-101 report indicated the presence of 13,823.64 metric tonnes of total rare earth oxides (TREO), including yttrium, under the indicated resource category, and 14,147.76 metric tonnes under the inferred resource category, each using a one per cent cut-off grade.

In addition to the exploration program at Steenkampskraal, Great Western Minerals also holds interests in four rare earth properties in North America.