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BHP Billiton has announced the completion of the sale of its 80 per cent interest in the PT Arutmin Indonesia (PT Arutmin) energy coal operations to PT Bumi Resources Tbk, effective 30 November 2001.

All necessary conditions and Government approvals required under the sale agreement announced on 23rd October 2001 have now been met.

PT Arutmin operates two open-cut energy coalmines, Senakin and Satui in South Kalimantan, Indonesia, which produce about 11 million tonnes of energy coal, mainly for export to Asian markets.

BHP Billiton Energy Coal will continue to market 75 per cent of the current coal production under a Marketing Services Agreement with Arutmin


News Release - 23/10/2001
Reference: 21/01

BHP Billiton today reached agreement for the sale of its 80 per cent interest in the PT Arutmin Indonesia (Arutmin) energy coal mining operations in Kalimantan, Indonesia to PT Bumi Resources Tbk for $US 148 million. The remaining 20 per cent equity in PT Arutmin is held by PT Bakrie and Brothers Tbk.

The sale agreement is subject to certain conditions and Government approvals being met.

PT Arutmin operates two open-cut energy coal mines, Senakin and Satui, in south Kalimantan. The mines produce approximately 11 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal which is predominantly exported to Asian markets.

BHP Billiton Energy Coal will continue its association with PT Arutmin by providing marketing services to the purchasers. The Marketing Services Agreement provides for BHP Billiton to market 75 per cent of the current coal production.

President BHP Billiton Energy Coal Mike Oppenheimer said the sale agreement had a sound commercial basis as well as meeting the Government requirements. "This is definitely a win for all parties and we appreciate the cooperation of the Indonesia authorities in bringing the transaction to fruition," he said.

Mr Oppenheimer added: "The Marketing Services Agreement provides a strong platform for repositioning and further developing our investments in Indonesia. In addition, the Agreement enhances the inherent value of the business through BHP Billiton’s world-wide marketing expertise and our strong relationship with existing customers."

BHP Billiton has now met its obligation under Indonesia law to sell down its interest in PT Arutmin to allow majority Indonesian ownership of the project. BHP Billiton has worked cooperatively with the Indonesian Government in meeting the legal requirements set out in the Coal Contract of Work (CCOW) applying to PT Arutmin and the result is believed to be the first transaction of its kind in Indonesia.

In addition to the agreement to continue marketing PT Arutmin coal, BHP Billiton's continuing interests in Indonesia include the management of PT BHP Kendilo Coal Indonesia, an energy coal mine in East Kalimantan, and a range of advanced exploration developments.


Australia
Dr. Robert Porter, Investor Relations
Phone: + 61 3 9609 3540
Mobile: +61 419 587 456
e-mail: Robert Porter

Mandy Frostick, Media Relations
Phone: +61 3 9609 4157
Mobile: +61 419 546 245
e-mail: Mandy Frostick


United Kingdom
Ariane Gentil, Manager Communications
Phone: +44 20 7747 3977
Mobile: +44 7881 518 715
e-mail: Ariane Gentil


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Michael Campbell, Investor & Media Relations
Phone: +27 11 376 3360
Mobile: +27 82 458 2587
e-mail: Mike Campbell


United States
Francis McAllister, Investor Relations
Phone: +1 713 961 8625
Mobile: +1 713 480 3699
e-mail: Francis McAllister

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