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Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.: Deep Sands Project Exploration Results and Update

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - 03/31/11) - Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. ("GWMG" or the "Company") (TSX-V:GWG - News) (Pinksheets:GWMGF - News) announces that, based on the results of an extensive drilling and sampling program, and in consideration of the attention required for GWMG's more advanced projects, the Company does not plan to undertake additional exploration work on the Deep Sands project at this time.The Snake Valley and adjacent Deep Creek Mountains of west-central Utah host an extensive area of low-grade rare earth (monazite) and iron (magnetite) enriched mineral sands. Given the low relative grades encountered in the original sampling, a model for an economically viable deposit was developed. The target was an open pit, low-grade iron deposit (grade 10% Fe2O3) from which REE-bearing minerals such as monazite and xenotime might be recovered as a by-product.To test this hypothesis, a two-phase drill program was carried out in 2008 covering most of the 17,708 hectare (43,758 acres) property. Phase I consisted of 77 drill holes, using a pattern of one drill hole per square mile, drilled to a target depth of 50 m. Phase II was a geochemical sampling program and consisted of 902 holes drilled to a target depth of 6 m. based on approximately 450 m. drill-spacing. The holes were drilled using two Geoprobe drills employing Direct Push technology, which recovered material in a plastic core tube. In total 4,705 core tubes were recovered and analyzed, representing 7,652 m. (25,099 ft.) of drilling. The utilization of Direct Push Drill technology and the resulting PVC encased cores enabled the development of a scanning methodology utilizing a hand held XRF analyzer to be the main assay tool with support from ICP analysis and a rigorous QA/QC protocol for REE analysis. The analyses, compilation and interpretation represented a sizeable undertaking that was only recently completed with summary results reported below:Of the 77 Phase I drill holes, 14 contained greater than 500ppm Total Rare Earth Elements ("TREE") with the highest individual 5 ft. interval being 1,325ppm TREE. Of the 902 Phase II geochemical holes, 12 individual 5 ft. samples had values greater than 500ppm TREE. The highest value was 1,070ppm TREE.Systematically sampling a mineral prospect of this magnitude in a cost-effective manner proved challenging from the beginning. Compaction of material, the unconsolidated and dry nature of the material, and the vibratory effects subjected by the direct push methodology resulted in lower than expected recovery of core samples. Total core recovery during Phase I drilling accounted for an average of approximately 59%, while Phase II drilling resulted in an average recovery of less than 50%. Notwithstanding these results the Company believes, however, that the program was successful in proving that an REE ("Rare Earth Element") deposit meeting its target parameters for size (1 billion tonnes) and grade was not likely to exist on the property. However, there was potential for several, iron-rich deposits with a REE by-product. In particular, drilling identified an area in the central part of the property with relative iron enrichment that measured approximately 3 km. in length by 1 km. in width. In addition there are areas covering significant paleo-beaches that show airborne radiometric anomalies, suggesting potential REE-enrichment, that have not been adequately tested, as well as the northwest part of the property which showed the largest magnetic and radiometric targets, that could not be drill tested because of the boulder content of the desert material.The Company decision based on the Phase I and II programs is to retain its interest in the project (currently 25% of the REE contained on the property), but not to undertake any further significant exploration work on the property unless circumstances change to warrant additional work. GWMG's involvement with the Deep Sands project will include annual reimbursements to Titan for Bureau of Land Management claims maintenance fees, and State of Utah Trust Lands Administration lease payments. The Company's partner in the project, Titan Mining Group LLC, has informed GWMG that based on the difficulties encountered during recovery of core samples and their lack of confidence in the corresponding results, they will proceed with a bulk sampling program on one or more of the areas of known iron enrichment as identified previously by Aeromagnetic Survey interpretation and subsequent pit sampling and sample testing. The Company will monitor the results of this and any other tests on the property and assess any future participation in development of the project based on such results. The Company has not relinquished its ownership or permit rights, allowing the Company to potentially recover costs in the future, although those potential recoveries can not be determined at this time."With several other projects requiring the focused attention of GWMG, the Company has decided to put Deep Sands on the back burner in terms of spending any more on exploration", said Jim Engdahl, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We wish our partners well in their proposed development of the iron potential on the property. If there are good reasons in future to revisit our decision, we will do so."John Pearson, P.Eng, is the Qualified Person responsible for the content of this news release.Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. is an integrated Rare Earths processor. 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 Birkenhead, U.K. and Great Western Technologies Inc. in Troy, Michigan, these alloys contain aluminium, nickel, cobalt and Rare Earth Elements. As part of the Company's vertical integration strategy, GWMG has signed an Off-take Agreement for 100% of the Rare Earth Elements produced at the former producing Steenkampskraal mine in South Africa and holds 92.6% ownership in Rare Earth Extraction Co. Limited, the owner of the Steenkampskraal mine. In addition to a planned exploration program at Steenkampskraal, GWMG also holds interests in seven Rare Earth exploration and development properties in North America.Certain information set out in this News Release constitutes forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements (often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "expect", "may", "could", "anticipate" or "will" and similar expressions) may describe expectations, opinions or guidance that are not statements of fact and which may be based upon information provided by third parties. Forward-looking statements are based upon the opinions, expectations and estimates of management of GWMG as at the date the statements are made and are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or outcomes to differ materially from those anticipated or implied by such forward-looking statements. Those factors include, but are not limited to, the results of the feasibility study at Steenkampskraal, satisfaction of the conditions precedent with respect to GWMG's offtake agreement, receipt of all required approvals (including those relating to the commencement of production at the Steenkampskraal mine) and risks, uncertainties and other factors that are beyond the control of GWMG, risks associated with the industry in general, commodity prices and exchange rate changes, operational risks associated with exploration, development and production operations, delays or changes in plans, risks associated with the uncertainty of reserve or resource estimates, health and safety risks and the uncertainty of estimates and projections of production, costs and expenses. In light of the risks and uncertainties associated with forward-looking statements, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon forward-looking information. Although GWMG believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements set out in this press release or incorporated herein by reference are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. The forward-looking statements of GWMG contained in this News Release, or incorporated herein by reference, are expressly qualified, in their entirety, by this cautionary statement and the risk factors contained in GWMG's current annual information form available at www.sedar.com.Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.