West Hawk Development Corp.

West Hawk Development Corp.

October 17, 2006 03:05 ET

West Hawk Receives Successful Coal Gasification Test Results From Sasol Lurgi Laboratories

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2006) - West Hawk Development Corp. ("West Hawk"), (TSX VENTURE:WHD)(FWB:H5N) is pleased to announce receipt of positive results from the coal samples tested for gasification suitability, under the Coal Testing Agreement signed with LURGI SA (Pty) Limited in July, 2006.

A report has been prepared by Sasol Lurgi, commissioned for West Hawk using coal from West Hawk's Northwest Territories, Tulita area coal properties. The Company shipped the coal samples to South Africa where the world's largest coal gasification company, SASOL/Lurgi, and the world's largest gasification business resides, for scaled gasification testing to evaluate suitability of the coal feedstock for production of pipeline quality gas and liquids either shipped through the proposed Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline or the existing pipeline from Norman Wells.

The Report on the Gasifiability of West Hawk's Northwest Territories coal is associated with testing the coals in the Sasol-Lurgi Gasifier. It is reported that 75% of all gasified coals in the world are from Sasol-Lurgi gasifiers. The testing covered samples from 6 of West Hawk's predominant coal seams, intended to represent average coal qualities from the Seagull Island and Tate Lake areas of the Company's Mackenzie River Valley, Sahtu Region, Northwest Territories holdings. Under the terms of the agreement with LURGI SA (Pty) Limited of South Africa, the following summary of the testing results can be stated:

- All samples tested contained coal suitable for gasification;

- Recommendation to proceed with a commercial scale test to augment results;

- The coal to gas / liquid conversion efficiencies was very high.

West Hawk plans to proceed with the next levels of development for this project, including a drill program to delineate the resource, advancing its feasibility through detailed development scenarios and marketing strategy. Compiled historic (non NI43-101 compliant) resource estimates exceed 2 billion tons of lignite to sub bituminous coal in published reports issued by previous operators Luscar Ltd., and Manalta Coal Ltd. with Techman Ltd. completing a 1979 Pre-Feasibility study for Manalta at Fort Norman and Seagull Island.

The Company is continuing activities with local Land Corps, the Tulita Community, other stakeholders and permitting agencies around agreements to proceed with a winter drill program.

"It has, and continues to be a pleasure to work with Mark Otto, Managing Director or Lurgi, South Africa, and his Sasol/Lurgi team. We are particularly excited having our coal samples achieve gasification suitability, a critical milestone in the advancement of this project. The success of the laboratory scaled testing allows us to proceed with bankable feasibility while advancing discussions opening the necessary channels to attain our next milestones, which includes a winter drill program for this project," says company President and CEO, Dr. Wm. Mark Hart. "This much anticipated news bodes well especially in concert with the company's extensive relationship building initiatives within the region. We will now actively pursue a number of advanced expressions of interest that we've received around cooperative advancement of the project."


Dr. Wm. Mark Hart, President and CEO

About the Company: West Hawk Development Corp. is focused on providing valuable, high-demand energy products from a variety of sources. Assets include the 500 billion cubic feet (as per NI51-101 report) Figure Four natural gas property located in the Piceance Basin, Colorado, being developed under a drilling and development agreement with EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc.; the 2(+) billion ton Fort Norman coal deposit in the Northwest Territories, being developed with Lurgi South Africa (Pty) Ltd. with the aim of creating a multi-stage, 200 billion cubic foot per year Coal-to-Gas operation supplying clean "syn-gas" to markets through Imperial Oil's proposed MacKenzie Valley Pipeline and/or producing high-demand electric power and sulfur free diesel through construction of an IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) facility; the one billion ton Groundhog anthracite coal deposit located in northwest British Columbia; and the 3(+) billion ton coal deposit located on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut Territory.

Cautionary note: This report contains forward looking statements, particularly those regarding cash flow, capital expenditures and investment plans. Resource estimates, unless specifically noted, are considered speculative. The company has filed a National Instrument 51-101 Report on the Figure Four property. A National Instrument 43-101 report has been filed on the Groundhog property. Any and all other resource or reserve estimates are historical in nature, and should not be relied upon. By their nature, forward looking statements involve risk and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on factors that will or may occur in the future. Actual results may vary depending upon exploration activities, industry production, commodity demand and pricing, currency exchange rates, and, but not limited to, general economic factors. Cautionary Note to US investors: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission specifically prohibits the use of certain terms, such as "reserves" unless such figures are based upon actual production or formation tests and can be shown to be economically and legally producible under existing economic and operating conditions.

The TSX Venture Exchange has not yet reviewed and does not take responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release.

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