Western Areas' announces high grade nickel discovery at Mt Alexander Joint Venture and updates on three other nickel projects


    ASX & TSX: WSA

    WEST PERTH, Western Australia, March 11 /CNW/ - The Board of Western
Areas is pleased to announce exciting results from a number of nickel projects
in Western Australia. The results provide support for the interpretation that
the central part of the Yilgarn Craton is a previously unrecognised and
significant nickel province extending 500km from north to south. Western Areas
has interests in seven nickel projects (including Forrestania) and is the most
active nickel explorer in this province.

    Mt Alexander Joint Venture

    BHP Billiton Ltd has provided Western Areas with preliminary results from
what appears to be a high grade nickel/copper discovery at the Mt Alexander
Joint Venture, 350km north of Forrestania. BHP Billiton is the operator of the
joint venture and Western Areas holds a 25% free carried interest in the
project to a decision to mine.
    BHP Billiton recently drilled two diamond drill holes spaced 90 metres
apart at the Cathedrals Prospect at Mt Alexander. BHP has advised Western
Areas that both drill holes intersected significant widths of massive, matrix
and disseminated sulphides at shallow depth. The holes were designed to test
coincident EM and magnetic anomalies associated with nickel/PGE gossans in an
area of granite north of the Mt Alexander greenstone belt. The nickel/PGE
gossans reportedly occur along a 1km long zone.
    Two representative chip samples of massive sulphide in the drill core
have been analysed by BHP Billiton and have returned the following results:

    Drill hole MAD 012    5.95% nickel and 2.2% copper (approx 94m depth)
    Drill hole MAD 013    7.49% nickel and 2.8% copper (approx 58m depth)

    Formal assay results from systematic sampling of the drill core are
required to confirm the widths and grades of the nickel/copper intersections
in drill holes MAD 012 and 013. The drill core is also being analysed for PGEs
due to the occurrence of highly anomalous PGEs in the surface gossans. Western
Areas will release formal assay results with additional details of the
intersections at the Cathedral Prospect as soon as they are received from BHP


    The style of mineralisation seen in the BHP Billiton drill core is
interpreted to be remobilised massive nickel/copper sulphides occurring near
the base of a 50m wide ultramafic sequence within a large, possibly flat lying
granite intrusion. Importantly, the style and tenor of the mineralisation at
Cathedrals already show a number of similarities to the mineralisation at
Western Areas' 100% owned Flying Fox mine at Forrestania, 350km to the south.
    The results suggest this style of granite hosted mineralisation is not
confined to Forrestania and may occur elsewhere within the 500km long 'Central
Yilgarn' nickel province.

    Lake King Joint Venture

    Western Areas recently completed a follow up geophysical survey (IP) at
the Nickel Hill Prospect at Lake King, 60 km south of Forrestania. The survey
was successful in extending a previously identified IP anomaly at least 200m
southeast from drill hole LKRC006 which intersected 15m @ 0.36% nickel
including 1m @ 0.78% nickel from 180m downhole depth.
    The intersection in LKRC006 (announced previously) is significant as it
is the first recorded intersection of nickel sulphides in the Lake King
greenstone belt. Lake King is effectively unexplored for nickel. A drilling
program is planned to test the source of the IP anomaly and the potential for
economic nickel mineralisation south of LKRC006.
    Western Areas is earning a 70% joint venture interest at Lake King from
unlisted company, Swanoak Holdings.

    Sandstone Joint Venture

    Western Areas is conducting a geochemical survey covering a large area of
the Sandstone Nickel Project, 400km north of Forrestania. A portable XRF
analyser (Niton) is being used to analyse selected samples for nickel, copper
and related elements from hundreds of existing drill holes. Kennecott
Exploration Incorporated conducted limited exploration for nickel between 1969
and 1972 and most drilling at Sandstone during the past 36 years has targeted
gold mineralisation.
    Although the geochemical program is at a very early stage, results to
date are considered encouraging. Anomalous nickel and copper values have been
identified in several areas targeted by Western Areas which were not
previously drilled for nickel by Kennecott.
    Western Areas is earning a 70% interest in nickel and related minerals at
Sandstone in a joint venture with Troy Resources Ltd.

    Southern Cross Goldfields Ltd

    Western Areas has restructured its interests in the former Bullfinch
North joint venture (with Polaris Metals Ltd) and has subscribed to 5 million
shares in Southern Cross Goldfields Ltd (SXG). As a result, Western Areas
expects to become the second largest shareholder in SXG after Polaris. SXG is
due to list on the Australian Stock Exchange on 20th March.
    SXG is a gold and nickel exploration company whose main asset is a large
tenement holding in the central part of the 'Central Yilgarn' nickel province.
Western Areas also retains a right to claw back a 55% interest in any nickel
discovery at Bullfinch North before September 2010.

    COMPETENT PERSON STATEMENT: The information within this report as it
relates to exploration results is based on information compiled by Mr Julian
Hanna from information supplied by BHP Billiton Ltd. 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 mineralisation 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.

    FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT AND DISCLAIMER: This release contains certain
forward-looking statements. Examples of forward looking statements in this
release are: 'the central part of the Yilgarn Craton is a previously
unrecognised and significant nickel province' and 'what appears to be a high
grade nickel/copper discovery at the Mt Alexander Joint Venture'.
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 includes nickel and copper values provided by BHP
Billiton, which are based on Niton analyses of limited samples of drill core.
Niton analyses are estimates only and require confirmation by formal assays.
In addition, 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.

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 9334 7777, 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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