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Number 16/08

BHP Billiton today announced approval for the Efficiency & Growth expansion project at Worsley Alumina in Western Australia for an estimated capital investment of US$1.9 billion (BHP Billiton’s 86 per cent share). This includes approximately US$70 million of sustaining capital.

The expansion project will lift capacity of the Worsley refinery from 3.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of alumina to 4.6 Mtpa (100 per cent capacity) through expanded mining operations, additional refinery capacity and upgraded port facilities.

The construction phase will start immediately and first production is expected in the first half of calendar year 2011.

BHP Billiton Aluminium President Jon Dudas said, "Worsley is one of the largest, lowest cost and most efficient alumina refineries in the world. This decision to invest in further production capacity underlines our confidence in the future of the alumina market. It also reflects our confidence in Worsley Alumina’s ability to continue its excellent track record of production growth".

Worsley Alumina is a Joint Venture partnership between BHP Billiton (86 per cent), Japan Alumina Associates (Australia) (10 per cent) and Sojitz Alumina (4 per cent).

For further information please contact:

Australia
Samantha Evans, Media Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 2898  Mobile: +61 400 693 915
email: Samantha.Evans@bhpbilliton.com

Leng Lau, Investor Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 4202  Mobile: +61 403 533 706
email: Leng.Y.Lau @bhpbilliton.com

United Kingdom & South Africa
Andre Liebenberg, Investor Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4131  Mobile: +44 7920 236 974
email: Andre.Liebenberg@bhpbilliton.com

Illtud Harri, Media Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4195  Mobile: +44 7920 237 246
email: Illtud.Harri@bhpbilliton.com

United States
Tracey Whitehead, Investor & Media Relations
Tel: US +1 713 599 6100 or UK +44 20 7802 4031
Mobile: +44 7917 648 093
email: Tracey.Whitehead@bhpbilliton.com

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