Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. (TSX.V: GWG / OTCQX: GWMGF), a leader in the manufacture and supply of rare earth–based metal alloys and high purity metals with a low cost, high-grade critical rare earth asset, has delivered its high-purity yttrium oxide supply chain assessment to the Department of Defense ("DoD"). In close coordination with major defense contractors, the Company found that military requirements from 2011 to 2015 for high-purity yttria are 40 to 50 tonnes per year higher than previous DoD life-cycle sustainment estimates, and that there are processing gaps in the supply chain.
|DoD Life-Cycle Sustainment Estimate,
Average 2011-2015 (Sept. 2012)
|Additional Demand Identified by Field Work||40||40||50|
|Total Average Military Requirement||166||218||238|
|Mitigation Options (2015)||Minimum – Maximum Foreign Dependence
% Military Requirement
|Scenario 1: Domestic Raw Yttrium Supply
& Processing Only ("Domestic Production")
|(154 – 211)
78% – 89%
|Scenario 2: Domestic Production, DoD
Recycling with Foreign Toll-Processing
|(99 – 156)
50% – 66%
|Scenario 3: Domestic Production,
Consignment of All non-Chinese Yttrium
Supply with Foreign Toll-Processing
|(79 – 136)
40% – 57%
|Scenario 4: Domestic Production, DoD
Recycling and Consignment of All
non-Chinese Yttrium Supply with Foreign
|(24 – 81)
12% – 34%
"In addition to the growing magnitude of military requirements, our report concludes that newly-mined and recycled yttria in the United States will be unable to meet this requirement until about 2019," stated GWMG President and CEO Marc LeVier. "Considering the long-lived bottlenecks for raw yttrium production and yttria refining indicated by this work, the high-grade resource at SKK once funded and producing is capable of delivering this critical material to military contractors."
Yttrium oxide is used in a wide variety of ceramics and phosphors for military systems including thermal barrier coatings for jet engines, investment casting of titanium parts, night vision crystals and high-temperature superconductors. Importantly, the Company’s Manufacturing Services segment also manufactures specialty metal alloys which include nickel, cobalt, titanium, magnet, aluminum and yttrium.
Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. is a leader in the manufacture and supply of rare earth–based alloys and high purity metals with a low cost, high-grade critical rare earth asset. Its specialty alloys are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries. Produced at the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Less Common Metals Limited in Ellesmere Port, U.K. and Great Western Technologies Inc. in Troy, Michigan, these alloys contain transition metals, including nickel, cobalt, iron and other rare earth elements. As part of the Company’s vertical integration strategy, GWMG also holds 100% equity ownership in Rare Earth Extraction Co. Limited, which controls the Steenkampskraal monazite mine in South Africa. The Company also holds interests in four rare earth exploration and development properties in North America that are not active.
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