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From a turtle conservation program in Colombia to a carbon reduction initiative in Queensland, BHP Billiton’s Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) Award winners were announced in Melbourne last night.

The awards recognise employees who have achieved outstanding results through projects that contribute to the Company’s sustainability objective.  The awards are judged by a panel of experts from resources, government, academia and BHP Billiton.

The ceremony was attended by the 22 awards finalists, BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie, BHP Billiton’s Group Management Committee, employees and partners.

Mr Mackenzie said he was pleased to recognise the diverse group of talented people across the organisation.

“Every day our finalists live our value of Sustainability by putting the health and safety of our people first, working to enhance the well-being of our communities and operating in an environmentally responsible manner,” he said.

“Our people start each day with a sense of purpose and end it with a sense of accomplishment – and I can’t think of a better demonstration of this than the people and projects we are here to celebrate tonight.

“I would also like to acknowledge the great work of our South American colleagues who make up nearly 50 per cent of the finalists this year.”

The Excellence Award in the Health category went to Darren Reid from BHP Billiton Copper’s Cannington Asset for the program Carbon Reduction – improving the health of Cannington mine’s underground personnel.  Darren and his team developed an engineering control to actively reduce diesel particulate matter from vehicle exhausts.

Juan Larenas from BHP Billiton Copper’s Pampa Norte Asset was the Excellence recipient in the Safety category, for the project Elimination of exposure of people to the risks of ground failure and contact with hazardous substances. This project has eliminated risks for operators of the Spence leach pads by implementing a remote monitoring system.

The Excellence Environment Award was received by Lina Báez from BHP Billiton Coal’s Cerrejón joint venture in Colombia for the project Preservation of endangered sea turtles through successful local community engagement. The project has led to a preservation agreement for protecting turtles in the Upper Guajira region of Colombia.

Finally, the Community Excellence Award went to Sandra Martins from BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s Samarco joint venture for the project Farm productivity enhancement program.  The program is helping hundreds of rural producers from the Caparaó region rediscover coffee growing as a sustainable option for generating income and improving quality of life.

Recipients of the Excellence, Highly Commended and Merit Awards received US$20,000, US$10,000 and US$5,000 respectively to donate to a not-for-profit organisation of their choice.  In total, BHP Billiton will be donating US$140,000 to a range of charities globally.

The full list of awards recipients can be found in the HSEC Awards Results Table and further information on the finalists and their projects can be found in the HSEC Awards Booklet.

For more information, please see the News Release.

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