Western Areas NL
TSX : WSA
ASX : WSA

Western Areas NL

February 16, 2009 19:42 ET

Western Areas Announces Cosmic Boy Concentrator Ramp Up On Track

PERTH, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2009) -

THIS NEWS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE U.S.

The Board of Western Areas (TSX:WSA)(ASX:WSA) is pleased to announce the Cosmic Boy nickel concentrate plant has processed first ore and is on track to ramp up to steady state production by the end of February. The plant has a target throughput of approximately 300,000tpa ore and has been designed to allow for future expansion. The crushing circuit, conveyor system, filtration unit and concentrate storage facilities have capacity in built well above that required at this stage.

Western Areas Managing Director, Mr Julian Hanna, said that the Cosmic Boy plant has been built on time and on budget. "This is a credit to all the people from GR Engineering and Western Areas who have been involved in the project. The Company is looking to leverage off this high quality facility with improved metallurgical recoveries, flexible treatment options and greater offtake control. This places Western Areas in a position to extract the maximum revenue possible from our nickel product, from the mine to the port," said Mr Hanna.

An experienced production team is already in place and the Company would like to welcome Plant Manager John Bower (32 years processing experience), Production Co-ordinators Devon McNeil (22 yrs processing experience) and Steve Chitteron (22 yrs processing experience) and a team of Metallurgists, Maintenance Planners, Operators and Technicians who join our Construction and Metallurgy Manager Craig Fitzmaurice.

The first parcels of low grade ore are being processed as planned. High grade (greater than 4% nickel) ore is due to be processed next week with steady state production expected by the end of February.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT: This release contains certain forward-looking statements. These include: "with steady state production expected by the end of February". 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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