Western Areas announces dividend policy


    ASX & TSX: WSA

    WEST PERTH, Western Australia, Feb. 19 /CNW/ -

    Dear Shareholder,

    Western Areas has had a busy and successful start to 2008. Recently
announced highlights include:

    1.  Cash cost of A$3.04/lb nickel in concentrate for first 2 months
        production from Flying Fox T1 deposit. T1 is already one of
        Australia's lowest cost nickel mines.
    2.  Rapid advance of the mine decline should result in increased
        production from two wide stopes at T1 containing 9,240 tonnes nickel,
        commencing in March/April.
    3.  Target (greater than)8,000tpa nickel in concentrate expected to be
        produced at Flying Fox in CY 2008. Production is expected to ramp up
        to 14,000tpa nickel by 2011.
    4.  Study progressing on a raise bore ore haulage shaft at Flying Fox in
        addition to existing decline. The shaft gives potential to increase
        production to (greater than)20,000 tpa nickel by 2011.
    5.  Continuing high grade drilling results extend mineralisation at T4,
        T6 and T7 deposits. Target is to increase Flying Fox mineral resource
        by 50% to (greater than)150,000 t nickel in 2008.
    6.  Outstanding high grade drilling results at shallow depth at Spotted
        Quoll discovery, 6km from Flying Fox. Intersections include 8.7m @
        11.4% Ni and 6.5m @ 9.4% Ni.
    7.  Decision to mine Diggers South deposit due in September Q. Permitting
        is underway and a contract is to be awarded to dewater the open pit
        to access the underground mine.
    8.  Existing Cosmic Boy mine boxcut is being excavated to expose the
        entry to Outokumpu's large underground mine which ceased production
        in 1999.
    9.  Site works completed for Cosmic Boy concentrate plant. The
        construction contract is expected to be awarded end February with
        construction due to start at end of March.
    10. Target to produce 34,000tpa nickel in concentrate from five mines at
        Forrestania from 2011. This target assumes successful outcomes from a
        number of studies in progress.

    Assuming the ongoing production performance at Flying Fox, strong cash
flows anticipated during the second half CY2008, continuing exploration
success, potential to accelerate development of new mines at Forrestania and
the Company's strong cash position, the Board of Western Areas has resolved to
adopt a dividend policy as follows:

    Western Areas' Dividend Policy

    The objective is to pay an initial interim dividend to shareholders in
January 2009. The policy is to pay both an interim and a final dividend of at
least half the net profit after tax with the first eligible accounting period
being the six months from July 2008 to December 2008.
    Western Areas Chairman Mr Terry Streeter said "We are committed to making
substantial dividend payments as soon as we are in a position to do so.
Western Areas has many growth opportunities available to shareholders. These
opportunities occur not only at the developing mines at Forrestania but also
at the many significant exploration projects in the surrounding 500km long
nickel province in Western Australia as well as in Canada."
    "We believe that the Company is well positioned to become one of the
premier growth and yield mid-cap stocks in the Australia and Canadian
resources sector," said Mr Streeter.

    Yours sincerely,


    Julian Hanna,
    Managing Director and CEO

    DISCLAIMER: The information within this presentation as it relates to
exploration results or mineral resources is based on information compiled by
Mr Julian Hanna. Mr Hanna is a member of AusIMM and is a full time employee of
the Company. Mr Hanna 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 Reserves.' Mr Hanna consents to the inclusion in the
report of the matters based on the information in the form and context in
which it appears. This presentation 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.

    FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: This release contains information based on a
variety of assumptions and certain forward-looking statements. Examples of a
forward looking statement used in this presentation is "The objective is to
pay an initial interim dividend to shareholders in January 2009".
Forward-looking statements are subject to a wide 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. Current or potential shareholders should not
rely on forward looking statements as a basis to invest in Western Areas NL
("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.

For further information:

For further information: Julian Hanna, Managing Director - Western Areas
NL, Telephone +61 8 9334 7777, Email: jhanna@westernareas.com.au; Craig
Oliver, Finance Director - Western Areas NL, Telephone +61 8 9486 7855, Email:
coliver@westernareas.com.au; Ann Nahajski, Investor Relations - Porter
Novelli, Telephone +61 8 9386 1233, Email: anahajski@wa.porternovelli.com.au;
Or visit: www.westernareas.com.au

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