Western Areas NL
TSX : WSA
ASX : WSA

Western Areas NL

February 17, 2009 00:27 ET

Western Areas Clarification-Offtake Agreement

PERTH, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 17, 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) would like to update shareholders with regard to the Company's position after yesterday's news release by Norilsk Nickel Australia Pty Ltd ("NNAu"). NNAu announced that it has placed its Lake Johnston nickel operations on care and maintenance effective from the 16th February. NNAu and Western Areas are parties to the Forrestania Ore Tolling and Concentrate Purchase Agreement ("OTCPA") which was amended by a Deed of Variation, announced by Western Areas on the 16th February.

The terms of the original OTCPA include a take or pay obligation relating to the sale of Flying Fox ore or concentrate. Under the Deed of Variation, Western Areas has the right to toll treat ore until the 1st March and NNAu has a continuing obligation to purchase nickel concentrates from Western Areas under the existing agreement.

NNAu has given notice to Western Areas that the Lake Johnston concentrator plant will no longer accept delivery of nickel ore for toll treatment from 16th February. The suspension of ore deliveries to the Lake Johnston concentrator coincides with the ramp up of the Western Areas' Cosmic Boy nickel concentrator.

NNAu's obligation to take concentrate from Western Areas under the OTCPA is not affected by these events.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT: This release contains certain forward-looking statements. These include: "under the Deed of Variation Western Areas has the right to toll treat ore up until the 1st March" and "coincides with the ramp up of the Western Areas' Cosmic Boy nickel concentrator". 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 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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