Western Areas NL

Western Areas NL

April 30, 2008 21:28 ET

Western Areas Announces March 2008 Quarterly Activities Report

PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - Western Areas NL (TSX:WSA)(ASX:WSA) -


The March Q 2008 was another period of significant growth in Western Areas with excellent progress in most areas including mine production, development and exploration. With the recent discovery of Spotted Quoll 6km south of Flying Fox, the Company now owns two of the highest grade nickel deposits in the world with outstanding potential for new discoveries along the 25km long Western Nickel Belt.

Western Areas has announced target production of 35,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate p.a. by 2011 from five separate mines at the Forrestania Nickel Project which would place the Company in the world's top 10 nickel producers. All nickel is unhedged since the start of the June Q to coincide with the ramp up of production.

Corporately the Dividend Policy of 50% of net profit after tax was announced during the quarter. Western Areas has $A149M cash, $A13M in receivables and an $A82M debt facility which is drawn to $A54M and is fully funded to develop all planned projects.

Mine Production:

- Flying Fox is on schedule to reach the target 8,000tpa nickel in concentrate in its first full year of production. Four ore drives established into the T1 ore body with high grade ore being extracted from several surfaces.

- Invoiced production for the March Q was 28,800 tonnes at 2.7% nickel. This is in line with expectations that the March Q production would compare to the December Q. A major ramp-up in production is underway.

- Cash costs were A$4.48/lb nickel in concentrate. The grade in the March Q reflects production from T Zero and lower grade ore drives developed into T1.

- Production during the second half of April ramped up to an average 1,000 tonnes ore per day at an average grade of 4.3% nickel. Ore production at these rates is expected to continue for the next 12 months from the wider zones in T1.


- Contract awarded to GR Engineering to construct the Stage One concentrator at Cosmic Boy. The plant is due to be commissioned in March Q 2009.

- Scoping study for a shaft at Flying Fox expected to involve a two stage raise bore shaft with capacity to increase ore haulage at reduced costs from deeper deposits.

- Permits were approved for evaporation ponds to dewater the Diggers South deposit to develop Western Areas second nickel mine. The pre feasibility study is complete pending securing short term offtake contracts for the concentrate.

- Cosmic Boy village to be expanded to 400 rooms to accommodate the work force to construct the concentrate plant and develop the Diggers South mine.


- First mineral resource for Spotted Quoll comprises a total 545,600 tonnes at 6.3% nickel for 34,500 tonnes contained nickel to 200m depth. Recent intersections below the current mineral resource include 18.3m @ 10.4% nickel.

- Spotted Quoll highlights the potential for further discoveries along the 25km Western Nickel Belt. A surface EM survey in the June Q will test for new conductors along the 10km contact extending south from Spotted Quoll.

- Extensional drilling at Flying Fox produced a record intersection for the T4 deposit in drill hole FFD 193 W4/W2 with 13.3m @ 8.4% nickel from 832.5m.

- New high grade nickel/copper/PGE discovery announced at the Mt Alexander joint venture with BHP Billiton (WSA 25% interest) and a new nickel/copper discovery announced at Lynn Lake in Manitoba, Canada.

The full activities report can be viewed at the Companies website at www.westernareas.com.au


Mr Adrian Black from geological consultants Newexco Services Pty Ltd ("Newexco") is responsible for the verification and quality assurance of the Company's exploration data and analytical results from the Forrestania Nickel Project. Mr Bill Amann from geological consultants Newexco Services Pty Ltd ("Newexco") is responsible for the verification and quality assurance of the geophysical data used in this release. Surface diamond drill hole collar surveys used differential GPS, down hole surveys employed a north seeking gyroscopic instrument; comprehensive density database; high assay confidence with systematic QA/QC procedures; and validated database. Samples of quarter core from the drill holes described in this release are prepared and analysed by ALS Chemex Ltd laboratory in Perth for nickel, copper, cobalt and other elements. Core samples are crushed and pulverised to 90% passing 75 microns then analysed for nickel by ore grade determination using the ALS OG-62 method. Assays standards are routinely inserted in the sample stream by Newexco for quality control.

The information within this report as it relates to exploration results or mineral resources is based on information compiled by Mr Julian Hanna. Mr Hanna is a member of AusIMM and is a full time employee of the Company. Mr Hanna has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.' Mr Hanna consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on the information in the form and context in which it appears.


This release contains certain forward-looking statements. An example of a forward looking statement used in this release is: 'Western Areas has announced target production of 35,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate p.a. by 2011 from five separate mines at the Forrestania Nickel Project'. Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties beyond the Company's ability to control or predict which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements.

This announcement does not include reference to all available information on the Company or the Forrestania Nickel Project and should not be used in isolation as a basis to invest in Western Areas. Any potential investors should refer to Western Area's other public releases and statutory reports and consult their professional advisers before considering investing in the Company.

For Purposes of Clause 3.4 (e) in Canadian instrument 43-101, the Company warrants that Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

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