The Westaim Corporation statement on status of short-term investments

    CALGARY, Aug. 20 /CNW/ - In response to the current liquidity situation
in the asset-backed commercial paper market, The Westaim Corporation announced
today that the Company has $19.7 million invested in asset-backed commercial
paper (ABCP) maturing on various dates over the next two months. These
securities, which meet the criteria of The Westaim Corporation's investment
policy, have been rated R-1 (high) by DBRS Limited. However, until these
securities mature, Westaim cannot be certain that they will be repaid
promptly, in which event there could be adverse consequences to the Company in
the future.
    The Company also has approximately $12 million in bank deposits and
bankers' acceptances that are unaffected by liquidity issues impacting the
ABCP market. At June 30, 2007, Westaim had a total of $33.9 million in cash
and short-term investments, excluding the cash equivalents held by its
74.8 per cent owned affiliate NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals Corp.
    "Westaim has sufficient non-ABCP cash and liquid investments to continue
operations well into the first quarter of 2008," said Drew Fitch, President &
CEO, The Westaim Corporation. "During the next few months, we will be actively
monitoring the asset-backed commercial paper situation and taking steps to
ensure we continue to have access to cash necessary to fund our operations."
    The Westaim Corporation's technology investments include iFire Technology
Corp., which is developing a low-cost flat panel display technology, and a
74.8 per cent interest in NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ:   NCST; TSX;
NCS), which develops, manufactures and commercializes medical products that
fight infection and inflammation based on its nanocrystalline silver
technology. Westaim's common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange
under the trading symbol WED and on the NASDAQ under the trading symbol WEDX.

    This news release contains forward-looking statements. These statements
are based on current expectations that are subject to risks and uncertainties,
and Westaim can give no assurance that these expectations are correct. Various
factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected
in such statements, including but not limited to statements regarding the
repayment of mature securities, potential adverse consequences to Westaim in
future, the sufficiency of Westaim's cash and liquid investments to continue
operations, Westaim's intention to monitor the asset-backed commercial paper
situation referred to in the news release, and potential steps to be taken by
Westaim to ensure continued access to cash necessary to fund operations.
Westaim disclaims any intention or obligation to revise forward-looking
statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or
otherwise. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on
forward-looking statements, and should not rely on this information at any
date other than the date of this news release. All forward-looking statements
are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

    %SEDAR: 00002793E

For further information:

For further information: Gillian McArdle, The Westaim Corporation, (416)

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