Mirabela - Drilling Update



    Results from Extended Deeps Drilling

    TSX: MNB, ASX:MBN
    Ordinary shares outstanding: 129,784,100

    PERTH, Australia, Aug. 15 /CNW/ - Mirabela Nickel Limited (TSX: MNB,
ASX: MBN) is pleased to announce pending completion of the new in-pit resource
calculation, the focus has switched to drilling up potential underground
resource in the Extended Deeps area. There are now 4 rigs drilling the
Extended Deeps. The most recent results are reported below.

    
                  Composite results from the Extended Deeps
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Composite
                                           downhole
    Hole ID              From (m)          width (m)                     Ni%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MBS-575                928                 93                       0.87
    MBS-580                645                 93                       0.82
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
               0.5% Ni cut off grade, 4m minimum mining width
    

    These results are very encouraging. The average of all 4 Extended Deeps
holes announced to date is 92m at 0.89% Ni, demonstrating excellent potential
for bulk underground mining at Santa Rita. The mineralisation in this area
appears to be getting higher grade and more consistent at depth. The true
widths of these results are about 90% of down-hole widths.
    As set out in the attached schematic long-section, the Extended Deeps
program comprises 17 holes on approximate 120m x 105m spacing. There will be
5 holes on each of sections 400N, 505N and 610N, collectively drilling up 600m
of down-dip extension and 300m of strike. In addition, there is one hole
drilled on each section further north and south to test potential strike
extensions. Further strike extension holes are planned, particularly to the
north.
    The status of the program is 4 holes drilled and announced, 8 holes
drilled with assays pending, 4 holes being drilled, and only one hole to be
drilled. The visual observations of the 8 holes with assays pending are
encouraging - the mineralised zone remains thick, continuous and predictable.
Upon completion of this initial program (and receipt of assays) a JORC
Inferred Resource calculation will be undertaken, expected to be announced in
about 3 months time.
    In conjunction with the Extended Deeps drilling program, the Company has
commenced a scoping study into potential underground mining at Santa Rita,
including further expansion of the plant to accommodate additional underground
throughput. The aim is to develop an underground project that operates
contemporaneous with the open-cut, using the early open-cut project cash flows
to pay for underground development and an associated plant expansion.

    
    Results from Southern Deeps pit extension drilling

    Results of the last two pit extension holes are as follows:

                   Composite results from the Southern zone
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Composite
                                           downhole
    Hole ID              From (m)          width (m)                     Ni%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MBS-437(*)             374                165                       0.87
    MBS-574                506                 38                       0.74
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
               0.4% Ni cut off grade, 4m minimum mining width
            (*) MBS-437 was extended from a depth of 412m to 646m
    

    MBS 437 was a surprisingly good result. The hole was originally stopped
short due to a lost drill bit. The recent extension of this hole has recorded
one of the best results to date at Santa Rita and will assist the current
in-pit resource calculation. The true widths of these results are about 90% of
down-hole widths.

    New In-pit Resource Estimate

    The pit extension drilling program is complete and all assays returned.
An updated in-pit resource calculation is now well advanced and expected to be
completed within 2 weeks. The corresponding open-pit mining reserve is
expected late next month.
    More details of the above results are set out in Attachments 1, 2 and 3
and a long section is available on our website:
http://www.mirabela.com.au/projects_galleries.asp.

    
    (signed)                          (signed)
    Nick Poll                         Craig Burton
    Managing Director                 Corporate Director
    

    Background

    Mirabela Nickel Ltd is listed on the Australian and Toronto stock
exchanges. With an open-cut mining reserve of 84mt grading 0.61% Ni, Santa
Rita is the largest greenfields nickel sulphide discovery in the last 12 years
and the third largest open-cut nickel sulphide mining reserve worldwide.
    Construction of a nickel sulphide concentrator commenced in November 2007
and is progressing well. The plant is expected to produce 18,500 tpa of nickel
in a sulphide concentrate from one open-cut mine starting from mid 2009
increasing to 27,000 tpa by mid 2010. At this rate of production the project
will have a mine life of at least 14 years.
    The information in this report that relates to Mineral Resources and
Exploration Results is based on information compiled by Lauritz Barnes who is
a Member of The Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Lauritz Barnes is
consultant to Mirabela Nickel Limited. Lauritz Barnes has sufficient
experience which is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of
deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to
qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the
'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and
Ore Reserve' and a Qualified Person in accordance with NI 43-101. Lauritz
Barnes consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on their
information in the form and context in which it appears.

    Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements: There can be no assurance
that an expanded mineral resource or reserve will be established at the Santa
Rita Project. The forward-looking statements made in this news release are
based on assumptions and judgments of management regarding future events and
results. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results,
performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any
anticipated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied
by such forward-looking statements.


    
          Attachment 1: New intersections - Extended Deeps drilling
                           (0.5% Ni cut off grade)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      From         To       Downhole
    Hole ID            (m)        (m)        width          Ni%          Cu%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MBS-575            928       1021          93          0.87         0.22

    MBS-580            645        720          75          0.82         0.29
    MBS-580            735        749          14          0.74         0.16
    MBS-580            901        905           4          1.08         0.18
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All chemical analyses were completed by ALS Chemex, Vancouver, Canada



           Attachment 2: New intersections - Southern Zone drilling
                           (0.4% Ni cut off grade)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      From         To       Downhole
    Hole ID            (m)        (m)        width          Ni%          Cu%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MBS-437(1)         374        387          13          0.56         0.15
    MBS-437            422        440          18          0.88         0.27
    MBS-437            446        580         134          0.90         0.27

    MBS-574            506        528          22          0.75         0.19
    MBS-574            536        542           6          0.92         0.31
    MBS-574            614        624          10          0.62         0.09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All chemical analyses were completed by ALS Chemex, Vancouver, Canada
                  (1) MBS-437 - extended from 412m to 646m.



                 Attachment 3:  Drill hole collar locations
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Survey                          Hole        Azi-
    Hole ID       Hole type   type  Easting Northing    RL  Depth  Dip  muth
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MBS-437(1) Southern Deeps  TS(2) 422777  8430505  150.3   646   -60  270
    MBS-574    Southern Deeps  TS    422920  8430505  144.6   698   -60  270
    MBS-575    Southern Deeps  TS    423330  8430505  135.1  1150 -77.5  270
    MBS-580    Southern Deeps  TS    423271  8430400  155.2   930   -60  270
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        (1) MBS-437 - extended from 412m to 646m.
        (2) TS - Total Station Survey Tool.
    





For further information:

For further information: Australia contact: Nick Poll, Managing
Director, Telephone: +61 8 9324 1177, nickp@mirabela.com.au, Australia contact
(media): Caroline de Mori, Purple Communications, Telephone: +61 8 9485 1254,
cdemori@purplecom.com.au; Toronto contact (media): Eric Tang, Porter Novelli,
Telephone: (416) 422-7200, eric.tang@porternovelli.com

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