Western Areas NL

Western Areas NL

February 27, 2009 03:35 ET

Cosmic Boy Concentrator Ramps Up to Full Production

PERTH, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 27, 2009) - Western Areas NL (TSX:WSA)(ASX:WSA) -


The Board of Western Areas is pleased to announce the Cosmic Boy nickel concentrate plant has produced its first nickel concentrate product and has signed off the practical completion certificate with GR Engineering.

Western Areas Managing Director, Mr Julian Hanna, said "the Cosmic Boy concentrator has been built to a high standard which was clearly demonstrated during its commissioning and production ramp up phase.

"The concentrator will operate at a capacity of 300,000 tonnes of ore per annum or 25,000 tonnes per month once it has reached steady state. This is a very important milestone for our Forrestania Project and will provide independence and flexibility to Western Areas by allowing us to optimise nickel recoveries and potentially blend the concentrate for any future offtake partners. This places us in a position to extract the maximum revenue possible from our nickel product, from the mine to the port," said Mr Hanna.

To date the concentrator has produced 800 tonnes of nickel concentrate at an average grade of 15% nickel for approximately 120 tonnes of contained nickel since the commencement of wet commissioning on 14 February. This concentrate will be supplied to Norilsk as part of the existing Ore Tolling and Concentrate Purchase Agreement.

As announced on 16 February, Western Areas has an option (but no obligation) to remove 100% of the Flying Fox concentrate and terminate the agreement with Norilsk, or continue to sell concentrate to Norilsk up to a total of 75,000 tonnes of nickel. Western Areas is currently in negotiations with a number of potential offtake parties to sell a blended concentrate product from Flying Fox mine and the planned Spotted Quoll mine.

The full release including photos can be seen at on the company's website www.westernareas.com.au.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT: This release contains certain forward-looking statements. These include: "The Cosmic Boy concentrator will operate at a capacity of 300,000 tonnes per annum or 25,000 tonnes per month once it has reached steady state". 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.

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