The following approximately 18 month old Press release explains pretty clearly why GWMG is trying so hard to get it right the first time in developing their "mine to market" secure supply line from Steens to LCM...

 

GREAT WESTERN MINERALS GROUP SIGNS 
LETTER OF INTENT TO BE MAJOR LONG TERM 
RARE EARTH MATERIAL SUPPLIER TO VACUUMSCHMELZE

September 19, 2011 - Saskatoon, Canada: Great Western Minerals Group ("GWMG" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent to enter into a long term agreement with Vacuumschmelze GmbH & Co. KG (“VAC”) of Germany for the supply of rare earth alloys and metals. The Letter of Intent specifies that VAC commits to purchasing a minimum of 50% of its rare eath material needs from GWMG.

It is the stated goal of both VAC and GWMG to enter into a long term, multi-year agreement, whereby GWMG's wholly owned subsidiary Less Common Metals ("LCM") will be a major approved supplier to VAC, producing and supplying neodymium / dysprosium alloys, samarium alloys and associated metals specifically produced for VAC's permanent magnet operation.  That alloy / metal production will be based on the long term supply of rare earth feed materials from GWMG’s Steenkampskraal mine.

LCM, a current supplier of samarium-cobalt alloys to VAC for the manufacture of magnets and magnet assemblies, plans to install new melting capacity to provide alloy composition and microstructure that matches VAC’s specifications into the future. This is expected to provide mutually beneficial opportunities for future product development.(This is why the strip casting furnaces were ordered..Ponch)

VAC, the only sintered NdFeB permanent magnet producer for mass volumes in Europe, has developed proprietary materials and processes to produce one of the world’s most powerful types of permanent magnets for VAC’s customers in Europe, the United States and Asia. (See VAC website www.vacuumschmelze.de and select language of choice at top of website).

GWMG President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Engdahl said, "Moving toward a long term agreement as an approved supplier through this Letter of Intent is yet another example of GWMG systematically executing its fully integrated business model. Being able to base our Company’s expansion plans on an existing supplier relationship with a company of the market stature of Vacuumschmelze significantly increases the relevance of this LOI because our company has a strong track record of being a highly qualified supplier to VAC."

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It's pretty much all right there.....The Aichi and Electron Energy deals are based on similar relationships, and those company's desires for High Quality, secure, non-China supplies of REE materials of all types for their use.