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Great Western Minerals CEO Engdahl Gives Corporate Update

Aug. 23, 2012 9:32 AM ET
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Great Western Minerals' (CVE:GWG)(OTCQX:GWMGF) CEO Jim Engdahl gave an update on corporate events on a conference call Wednesday.

Engdahl said the company continued to be well positioned as a fully integrated rare earths producer.

At the company's Steenkampskraal rare earth project in South Africa, refurbishment at the surface program is virtually completed. In the exploration component, drill crews are making steady progress within the property, he said.

In light of recent events elsewhere in South Africa, Great Western's Engdahl said that company's operations were very far removed from the Johannesburg mining region and that the company was following a strategy of actively engaging with local communities. South Africa's black economic empowerment regulations will ensure that their employees will be financial benificiaries in the success of Steenkampskraal, Engdahl said.

Great Western's David Kennedy said the company operates in a region that was very different from the highly unionized and politicized mining region of South Africa.

"We're quite a different animal to the platinum mines in the Johannesburg region."

Regarding its UK unit Less Common Metals, Engdahl said a new strip-cast furnace was being tested and expects first commercial shipments for clients "very quickly" after a series of test runs. A second strip-cast furnace is due to arrive on site by the end of the year.

Earlier this year Engdahl said he would stand down as CEO. A board committee is currently in discussion with several candidates but Engdahl didn't say when any annoucement would be made.

"The right person will be an execution person to take the company to the next level," he said.

As for the upcoming reverse stock split, Engdahl said the company would only move ahead with this if it received full shareholder support.

Commenting on cash burn, CFO Jim Davidson said cash burn was "historically in line" at around $700,000 to $800,000 per month.

Second-quarter earnings are due for release on August 29.

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