Western Areas NL
TSX : WSA
ASX : WSA

Western Areas NL

April 18, 2008 09:00 ET

Western Areas Announces First Mineral Resource for Spotted Quoll Nickel Deposit Exceeds Western Areas Expectations

PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - April 18, 2008) -

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 that the first mineral resource estimate to 200m depth at the Spotted Quoll deposit has already exceeded the Company's announced target of 30,000 tonnes contained nickel. The Spotted Quoll mineral resource comprises a total of 473,600 Indicated tonnes at an average grade of 6.4% nickel for 30,140 tonnes contained nickel and 72,000 Inferred tonnes at an average grade of 6.1% nickel for 4,370 tonnes contained nickel. The majority (87%) is in the higher confidence Indicated Mineral Resource category (Table 1).

The mineral resource at Spotted Quoll is based on 36 surface diamond drillholes drilled between October 2007 and April 2008. Further drilling is required to test if the mineralisation extends closer to the surface in this area. Importantly, the initial mineral resource does not include significant intersections in two drill holes WBD064 and WBD057, approximately 25m and 170m below the mineral resource. Western Areas recently announced an intersection of 17.3m @ 9.8% nickel in WBD064 based on preliminary Niton analyses (refer to disclaimer).

Planned Program - June Quarter

The Spotted Quoll mineral resource has been passed on to Western Areas mine development team to evaluate a range of alternatives to fast track the deposit into production. Optimisation studies will be carried out in the June Q to determine if an open pit mine with subsequent underground development (similar to Jubilee's former Cosmos mine) would provide the best return from Spotted Quoll. Future development is expected to benefit from substantial existing infrastructure at Flying Fox 6km to the north and at Cosmic Boy 15km to the south. Infrastructure includes power, roads, accommodation village, bore fields, water disposal etc.

Preliminary metallurgical testwork on the mineralisation is already in progress. Initial results indicate 16% nickel concentrate grade is readily achievable and that most of the gersdorffite (nickel arsenic sulphide), where it occurs, can be rejected during flotation. Environmental permitting is also being addressed for development of the project and to minimise impact on a local population of declared rare flora (DRF) which occurs 150m south of the of the current drilling area of current drilling.

Drilling at Spotted Quoll is now testing the potential for significant extensions below the initial mineral resource in a panel extending from approximately 200m to 400m depth. A fourth drill rig is being sourced to accelerate the drilling program.



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Table 1: Mineral Resource Statement 17th April 2008

Spotted Quoll Deposit above lower cut-off of 2% Ni

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Measured Indicated Inferred

Tonnes Ni(%) Ni(t) Tonnes Ni(%) Ni(t) Tonnes Ni(%) Ni(t)
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TOTAL - - - 473,600 6.4 30,140 72,000 6.1 4,370
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Mineral Resource Parameters: The Mineral Resource estimate was completed by Mr John Haywood who is a full-time employee of Western Areas NL. The Mineral Resource estimate at Spotted Quoll and the data and parameters used in estimating the Mineral Resource were then reviewed by a group of senior geologists employed by independent geological consultants Newexco.

Massive and matrix sulphide mineralisation was modelled as 3D solids, and a block model was created using "Datamine Studio" software, filling the solids with cells and sub-cells; with Ni estimated by Ordinary Kriging. The mineralisation at Spotted Quoll exhibits good continuity of width and grade.



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Item Details Comments
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Cells Size 5m (X) by 10m (Y) by 5m (Z) Sub-celled to match solids
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Interpolation Method Ordinary Kriging Validated by ID2 estimate
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Search Radii Variable by domain Nominal 50m by 50m by 7m
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Nominal Drill hole 40m by 20m to 40m by 40m
spacing
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Surface diamond drillhole collar surveys used differential GPS; downhole surveys used a gyroscopic instrument; a comprehensive density database was utilised; there is high assay confidence with systematic QA/QC procedures; a validated acQuire database. An alternate inverse distance squared estimate was made to validate the ordinary kriged resource. A validation of drillholes against block model grades was made.

The full release including diagrams can be viewed at the Western Areas website at www.westernareas.com.au.

QA-QC STATEMENT:

Note: The nickel grade estimates for drill hole WBD 064 quoted in this release and in a previous release (7 April 2008) are indicative only and have been estimated from systematic readings using a NITON XLt 592 portable analyser which is not JORC compliant.

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. Surface diamond drill hole collar surveys used differential GPS, downhole 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 mineral resources and mine development activities is based on information compiled by Mr John Haywood and Mr Julian Hanna of Western Areas NL. Mr Haywood and Mr Hanna are members of AusIMM and are full time employees of the Company. Mr Haywood and Mr Hanna have sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which they are undertaking to qualify as Competent Persons as defined in the 2004 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.' Mr Haywood and Mr Hanna consent to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on the information in the form and context in which it appears.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT: This release contains certain forward-looking statements. These include: "to evaluate a range of alternatives to fast track the deposit into production. Optimisation studies will be carried out in the June Q to determine if an open pit mine with subsequent underground development (similar to Jubilee's former Cosmos mine) will provide the best return from Spotted Quoll. Future development is expected to benefit from substantial existing infrastructure at Flying Fox 6km to the north and at Cosmic Boy 15km to the south" and "Preliminary results indicate that a 16% nickel concentrate grade is achievable and that most of the gersdorffite (nickel arsenic sulphide) can be rejected during flotation". 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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