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BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) today announced that it has completed the previously announced 100 per cent acquisition of the New Saraji Project from New Hope Corporation Limited for a cash consideration of approximately US$1 billion, BHP Billiton share.

As a result of the completion of the acquisition, the Project will now be known as Saraji East. Saraji East is an undeveloped metallurgical coal resource located adjacent to BMA’s Saraji mine near Dysart.

The purchase comprises Mining Lease Application (MLA) 70383 and Exploration Permit for Coal (EPC) 837 and a port user contract entitlement of 10 million tonnes per annum of capacity at Abbot Point Coal Terminal as it is expanded.

BHP Billiton Coal President Dave Murray said, "The outlook for the metallurgical coal market is strong with robust demand from key growth markets. BHP Billiton continues to build on its position within the Bowen Basin to accelerate growth and bring new production to meet the needs of our customers and generate value for our shareholders." Saraji East could potentially deliver significant synergies due to its proximity to BMA’s existing Saraji mine. BMA will commence an exploration and evaluation program for Saraji East immediately.

BMA is a 50:50 joint venture between BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Corporation.

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