Western Areas NL

Published : July 19th, 2015

MILL ENHANCEMENT PROJECT

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Keywords :   Copper | Iron | Lead | Nickel | Recovery | Storage | Zinc |

MILL ENHANCEMENT PROJECT

20 July 2015 ASX: WSA News Release

WESTERN AREAS APPROVES MILL RECOVERY ENHANCEMENT PROJECT

The Board of Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA, "Western Areas" or the "Company") is pleased to announce approval of the Forrestania Mill Recovery Enhancement Project ("Mill Enhancement") following a full feasibility study and a competitive tendering process. A summary of the key aspects of the project are as follows:

9 Mill recoveries will increase between 3% to 5% over the Life of Mine;

9 Up to an additional 1,200 nickel tonnes in concentrate recovered per annum;

9 Estimated capital cost of A$22m;

9 Unit cash operating cost of A$2.42/lb of nickel in concentrate;

9 IRR of 39% and payback of 39 months using consensus nickel prices1;

9 Long lead item orders to be placed shortly;

9 Construction time of 6 months and could commence from 1 July 2016;

9 GR Engineering Services has been awarded an EPC Contract as part of a Guaranteed

Maximum Price arrangement; and

9 Will employ Western Areas' patented Bioleach technology.

In deciding to approve the Mill Enhancement, the Board has taken a prudent approach to the capital spend given the current nickel price environment. The Company has committed to purchase the long lead items and complete detailed engineering which are expected to cost around A$7.0m in the December quarter of FY16. Given the short construction time of six months, a decision to start construction is likely to be made later in the financial year, when consensus predictions have the nickel price trend improving towards the time the Mill Enhancement could commence. On this basis, the Company believes that the Mill Enhancement could commence the commissioning and ramp-up phase from 1 July 2016.
Western Areas Managing Director, Mr Dan Lougher commented that the decision to proceed with the Mill Enhancement is another example of the Company investing in value-adding organic projects which improve the efficiency of operations at Forrestania over the life of mine.
"Investment in the Mill Enhancement follows an extremely robust feasibility study, incorporating a lengthy period of pilot plant testing which demonstrated the success in applying our patented BioLeach technology on our sulphide ores in a controlled environment."
"The Mill Enhancement is expected to produce attractive economic returns and is another example where Western Areas will deploy relatively modest capital to generate operational efficiencies in a structured, smart and disciplined manner."
"We are extremely pleased to be working with GR Engineering as they have been involved with the
Forrestania mill since its original construction and expansion", said Mr Lougher

1

Consensus is based a long term average nickel price of US$8.68/lb at an AUD exchange rate of $0.80

THIS NEWS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE U.S.

Description of the Mill Recovery Enhancement Project

The process associated with the Mill Enhancement, was developed in-house by Western Areas for the specific purpose of treating Forrestania ore. The Mill Enhancement will process one of the tailings streams from one of the flotation plants that contains valuable amounts of nickel that cannot be recovered into concentrate by traditional flotation methods. This stream will be leached at atmospheric pressure utilising the Company's patented BioLeach technology in fibreglass reinforced PVC tanks to recover the additional contained nickel.
The BioLeach process has been developed to operate at a pH of 3-3.5 which enables the removal of iron and other gangue elements during the leaching stage to form stable compounds for safe disposal in the Company's existing tailings storage facility.
A conventional thickener and filter are used for dewatering of the leach circuit. The solids are discarded to tailings and the filtrate is passed to the sulphide precipitation circuit. Sodium sulphide is used to recover the nickel from the solution and will produce a nickel in concentrate product grading between 50% to 60% nickel. This high grade nickel concentrate is then combined with the processing plant's normal nickel concentrate (14% to 14.5% nickel) to produce an overall slightly higher grade nickel concentrate. The time period to produce a nickel concentrate for blending into existing material is seven days.
The Mill Enhancement process has been designed to add on to any existing flotation circuit to enable the recovery of valuable sulphide minerals (e.g. nickel, copper, zinc) which cannot be recovered by conventional flotation. Consequently, the Company believes that this process can have significant positive results for a number of base metal projects around the world looking to improve metal recovery. An additional potential benefit may therefore arise from demonstrating the patented Bioleach technology in this niche application.

Mill Enhancement plant flow sheet

THIS NEWS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE U.S.


Schematic of the Mill Enhancement plant

The Company acknowledges the efforts of Tetra Tech Proteus for its recent work on the Feasibility
Study for the Mill Enhancement.

For further details, please contact:

-ENDS-

Dan Lougher David Southam

Managing Director - Western Areas Ltd Executive Director - Western Areas Ltd

Telephone +61 8 9334 7777 Telephone +61 8 9334 7777

Email: [email protected] Email: [email protected]

Shane Murphy

FTI Consulting

Telephone +61 8 9485 8888 / 0420 945 291

Email: [email protected] Or visit: www.westernareas.com.au

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT: This release contains certain forward-looking statements including nickel production targets. Often, but not always, forward looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward looking words such as "may", "will", "expect", "intend", "plan", "estimate", "anticipate", "continue", and "guidance", or other similar words and may include, without limit ation, statements regarding plans, strategies and objectives of management, anticipated production and expected costs.

Examples of forward looking statements used in this report include "Mill recoveries will increase between 3% to 5% over the Life of Mine" and "Up to an additional 1,200 nickel tonnes in concentrate recovered per annum" and "Estimated capital cost of A$22m" and "Unit cash operating cost of A$2.42/lb of nickel in concentrate" and "IRR of 39% and payback of 39 months using consensus nickel prices" and "Long lead item orders to be placed shortly" and "Construction time of 6 months and could be in full operation from 1 July 2016"

and "The Mill Enhancement is expected to produce attractive economic returns and is another example where Western Areas will deplo y relatively modest capital to generate operational efficiencies in a structured, smart and disciplined manner ".

These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties beyond the Company's ability to control or predict whi ch 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 the Mill Recovery Enhancement 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.

THIS NEWS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE U.S.

Read the rest of the article at www.noodls.com

Western Areas NL

PRODUCER
CODE : WSA.AX
ISIN : AU000000WSA9
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Western Areas NL is a nickel and gold producing company based in Australia.

Western Areas NL holds various exploration projects in Australia.

Its main assets in production are FORRESTANIA, FLYING FOX MINE and KOOLYANOBBING in Australia, its main asset in development is SANDSTONE - LORD NELSON in Australia and its main exploration properties are MT FINNERTY NICKEL JV, LAKE KING, MT ALEXANDER, MT JEWELL and SPOTTED QUOLL in Australia and EAST BULL LAKE in Canada.

Western Areas NL is listed in Australia and in Canada. Its market capitalisation is AU$ 1.0 billions as of today (US$ 754.6 millions, € 661.0 millions).

Its stock quote reached its highest recent level on April 15, 2011 at AU$ 6.78, and its lowest recent point on March 27, 2020 at AU$ 1.66.

Western Areas NL has 272 280 000 shares outstanding.

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Corporate Presentations of Western Areas NL
2/17/2014Half Year Results Corporate Presentation
11/21/2013Areas AGM Corporate Presentation
2/21/2013Half Year Results Corporate Presentation
Annual reports of Western Areas NL
Annual Report to shareholders
Annual Report to shareholders
2009 Annual Report
Option Grants of Western Areas NL
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Nominations of Western Areas NL
1/3/2012appoints new Managing Director
Financials of Western Areas NL
2/24/2016Half Year Financial Results Press Release
8/20/2015Areas Full Year Financial Results Presentation
Project news of Western Areas NL
1/28/2014Revised Resource Table - December Quarterly Report
12/6/2013RBR: Drilling to Commence at Caesar Hill JV
12/4/2013Drilling to Commence at Musgrave Tenements
11/22/2013Final Director's Interest Notice
9/6/2013Assays Increase New Morning High Grade Nickel Intersection
8/30/2013High Grade 8% Nickel Intersection at New Morning
7/19/2013Further High Grade Intersections at New Morning
7/1/2013TKL: Musgrave project farm-in by Western Areas
3/27/2013New Morning Exploration Update
3/14/2013Exploration Strategy and Activities Update
2/1/2013GEOPHYSICS CONFIRMS SIGNIFICANT CONDUCTOR AT NEW MORNING
1/24/2013(Forrestania)New High Grade Nickel Discovery at Forrestania
1/24/2013GTE:Encouraging gold results intersected in drilling Mt Gibb
7/18/2012(Forrestania)Announces New High Grade Nickel Sulphide Discovery at Forres...
5/11/2012Production Guidance Update
3/14/2012Completed the Acquisition of Kagara Nickel
10/5/2011(Flying Fox Mine)Major Nickel Intersection Below Flying Fox Mine
Corporate news of Western Areas NL
8/11/2017Advance Notice - Full Year Results Conference Call
8/2/2016Diggers and Dealers Presentation
6/15/2016Final Director's Interest Notice
6/9/2016Western Areas Board Change
4/22/2016Quarterly Activities Report
4/5/2016Western Areas - Security Purchase Plan Booklet
4/5/2016Western Areas - Section 708A Cleansing Statement
3/31/2016Successful Completion of Western Areas Placement
1/28/2016Change in substantial holding
1/27/2016Quarterly Activities Report
1/11/2016Becoming a substantial holder
12/21/2015Western Areas Reduces Standby Bank Facility Fees
12/1/2015Change in substantial holding from NAB
11/25/2015Annual General Meeting - MD Presentation
11/25/2015Chairman's Address to Shareholders
10/26/2015Quarterly Activities Report
10/23/2015Notice of Annual General Meeting/Proxy Form
10/12/2015MOX: Western Gawler Craton Drilling Recommenced
10/12/2015Western Gawler Craton Update
10/7/2015Western Areas Revised FY16 Capital Expenditure Plans
10/1/2015Cosmos Nickel Complex Acquisition Completed
9/29/2015Western Areas to Commence Drilling at Fowlers Bay Nickel JV
9/28/2015STA: Western Areas to Commence Drilling at Fowlers Bay Nick
9/28/2015Prospective Mafic Intrusions Confirmed at Western Gawler
9/22/2015Becoming a substantial holder
9/14/2015Change in substantial holding
9/1/2015Change in substantial holding
8/28/2015Change of Director's Interest Notice x 3
8/20/2015Dividend/Distribution - WSA
8/20/2015Western Areas Report Increased Full Year Profit and Dividend
8/20/2015Appendix 4E & Full Year Statutory Accounts
8/20/2015Western Areas Full Year Financial Results Presentation
8/18/2015Full Year Results Conference Call Details
7/30/2015Change in substantial holding from NAB
7/21/2015Quarterly Activities Report - Revised
7/19/2015GNG: Contract Award
7/19/2015MILL ENHANCEMENT PROJECT
7/5/2015Major Drilling Program Commenced at Western Gawler Project
7/2/2015WESTERN AREAS NOW DEBT FREE
6/18/2015Western Areas to Acquire the Cosmos Nickel Complex
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3/25/2015Change in substantial holding from NAB
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3/5/2015Ceasing to be a substantial holder
2/18/2015Change in substantial holding from NAB
2/17/2015Becoming a substantial holder from MS
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2/12/2015Half Year Results Conference Call Details
2/12/2015Ceasing to be a substantial holder from MS
1/21/2015Western Gawler Craton Project Update
11/6/2014Western Areas to Commence Major Exploration at Fowlers Bay
2/28/2014On Market 2014 Convertible Bond Purchase
2/25/2014Areas Share Purchase Plan Offer Document
2/24/2014Cleansing Statement - Notification under section 708A(5)(e)
2/18/2014Successful Completion of Western Areas Raising
2/18/2014Areas Ltd Capital Raising and SPP
2/17/2014Half Year Results Press Release
2/10/2014Areas Upgrades Full Year Guidance
1/28/2014Competent Person Statement
1/9/2014Becoming a substantial holder
12/17/2013Ceasing to be a substantial holder
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12/4/2013TKL:Western Areas proceeds to Stage 2 of JV and begins drill
11/21/2013Areas 2013 AGM Results
11/21/2013WSA 2013 AGM Chairman Address
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11/13/2013Finland Exploration Assets - London AIM Listing
10/21/2013Notice of Annual General Meeting/Proxy Form
10/15/2013TKL: Musgraves project - new targets on WSA JV tenements
9/24/2013Becoming a substantial holder
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9/6/2013Substantial Shareholder - Restatement from CBA
8/27/2013Preliminary Final Report and Full Year Financial Statements
8/27/2013Areas Full Year Results Press Release
8/27/2013Areas Full Year Result Presentation Pack
8/21/2013Conference Call: Full Year Results for the Year Ended 30 Jun...
7/31/2013Announces Anticipated Non-Cash Impairment
7/23/2013Quarterly Activities Report
7/4/2013Areas Exceeds Full Year Guidance
7/1/2013Strategic Agreement with Traka at Musgraves
6/24/2013GTE: Rights Issue Entitlement
5/31/2013Areas Upgrades Full Year Guidance
4/23/2013Quarterly Activities Report
4/5/2013Chairmans Letter to Shareholders
4/4/2013Becoming a substantial holder
2/21/2013Half Year Accounts and Appendix 4D
2/21/2013Half Year Results Press Release
2/21/2013Results of Meeting
1/29/2013New Offtake Agreement
1/18/2013Notice of General Meeting/Proxy Form
1/14/2013WSA Announces Successful Completion of Share Purchase Plan
1/14/2013Areas Announces New Constitution
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12/10/2012Section 708A - Cleansing Notice
10/22/2012Notice of Annual General Meeting/Proxy Form
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9/21/2012Weekly Summary Alert
8/15/2012Conference Call-Full Year Results for the Year Ended 30 June...
7/25/2012Announces June 2012 Quarterly Activities Report
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6/29/2012Weekly Summary Alert
6/15/2012Weekly Summary Alert
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6/1/2012Weekly Summary Alert
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5/4/2012Weekly Summary Alert
4/20/2012Weekly Summary Alert
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3/5/2012Acquires 100% of Lounge Lizard and Kagara's Nickel Assets
2/24/2012Weekly Summary Alert
2/10/2012Weekly Summary Alert
1/27/2012Weekly Summary Alert
1/23/2012Announces December 2011 Quarterly Activities Report
1/13/2012Weekly Summary Alert
12/30/2011Weekly Summary Alert
12/22/2011Closes Out Royalty Obligation To Outokumpu
12/16/2011Weekly Summary Alert
12/2/2011Weekly Summary Alert
11/30/2011Agrees One Year Offtake Contract with Jinchuan
10/12/2011Clarification: Lounge Lizard Nickel Deposit
9/23/2011Weekly Summary Alert
9/8/2011Announces Update on Nickel Concentrate Tender Process
8/26/2011Weekly Summary Alert
8/22/2011Strong Financial Results for Year Ended 30 June 2011 & Full ...
8/12/2011Weekly Summary Alert
8/2/2011Considering Nickel Offtake Tender
5/6/2011Weekly Summary Alert
4/15/2011Announces March 2011 Quarterly Activities Report
4/8/2011Weekly Summary Alert
3/25/2011Weekly Summary Alert
2/25/2011Weekly Summary Alert
2/14/2011ALERT: New Western Areas Financial Report
2/11/2011Weekly Summary Alert
11/7/2008Weekly Summary Alert
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AUSTRALIA (WSA.AX)TORONTO (WSA.TO)
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