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Western Desert Resources drilling 'well on track' at Roper Bar Iron Ore Project

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Western Desert Resources (ASX: WDR) has reported that drilling operations at its flagship Roper Bar Iron Ore Project in the Northern Territory are proceeding at rates exceeding expectations.

Drilling is progressing on the initial Area E south resource where the first rig to arrive on site has been in action. Previous drilling identified 80-100mt @ 34-42% Fe from drill traverses at one kilometre spacing’s in 2009.

Drilling to date confirms the mineralisation is laterally continuous as anticipated. The company expects first assay results will be available in late August and drilling will support a maiden JORC Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate for Area E south.

Today, a second rig commences drilling at the high grade Area F east deposit. The drilling campaign is designed to infill and upgrade the 2009 JORC Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate of 7mt @ 59% Fe.

Norm Gardner, managing director said “based on current rates, WDR will drill up to 13,000 metres per month which is well on track to achieve the planned 33,000 metres by end of the 2010 field season. WDR will provide regular updates as assay results come to hand.”

“While we waited to get on the ground, following unseasonably wet conditions, WDR has been working on the Project’s Scoping Study. Project development is being planned around two stages - a Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) component and a gravity separation beneficiation component.”

Infrastructure Works are underway or nearing completion and include beneficiation processes for the BFO hematite ores, planning for mining, plant, airstrip, camp, etc., and planning to establish haul roads and coastal storage/loading facilities.

In addition environmental, groundwater and cultural studies, along with port and barge operation studies, and Land Council negotiations and community relationships are continuing.

The Roper Bar Iron Ore Project covers about 1,200 square kilometres within six granted exploration licences and includes an estimated 55 square kilometres of outcrop of the target Sherwin Formation which hosts extensive hematitic iron ore horizons.

Last year, Inferred Mineral Resources of 116Mt @ 39% Fe, including a DSO component, were estimated from a limited drilling program over a small part of the outcropping Sherwin Formation.

WDR also has 100% of the adjacent Mountain Creek iron ore project, which contains the continuation of the Sherwin Formation and will be the subject of initial drilling this year.

WDR has 135 million issued shares, a market capitalisation of A$63 million and cash & investments of A$6.5 million.

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