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BHP Billiton Submits Environmental Impact Statement for Jansen Project

BHP Billiton BHP Billiton today submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its proposed Jansen Potash Project in Saskatchewan to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment (MOE).

The Jansen Project, about 140km east of Saskatoon, is being designed to produce approximately 8Mtpa of potash at full capacity, potentially making it the world's largest potash mine. The proposed mine will operate for about 70 years and make substantial contributions to the economies of local communities, the province and Canada.

In compliance with regulatory requirements, BHP Billiton has prepared a detailed EIS that assesses potential effects of the Jansen Project and shows how BHP Billiton has designed Jansen to maximise socio-economic opportunities while minimising environmental effects.

The EIS will be released for public comment by the MOE once the document has been reviewed and deemed complete. At present, BHP Billiton expects this to occur some time in the first half of 2011. In the meantime, the company will continue to proactively engage with the public and share information about the Project.

"We believe the Jansen Project is a wonderful opportunity for BHP Billiton and Saskatchewan," said Graham Kerr, President of BHP Billiton Diamonds and Specialty Products. "Jansen is a world class ore body and the Project fits our strategy of owning and operating large, long-life, low-cost assets. Jansen is the first and the most advanced of our potash growth options" he added.

At Jansen, drilling has started in preparation for the ground freezing process which is required to sink the production and service shafts. In total, BHP Billiton has exploration rights to over approximately 14,500km2 of highly prospective ground in the Saskatchewan potash basin.

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP/LSE:BLT/NYSE:BBL/JSE:BIL) is the world's largest diversified natural resources company with approximately 41,000 employees working in more than 100 operations in 25 countries. BHP Billiton has significant positions in major commodity businesses, including aluminum, energy coal and metallurgical coal, copper, manganese, iron ore, uranium, nickel, silver and titanium minerals, and has substantial interests in oil, gas, liquefied natural gas and diamonds.

BHP Billiton has a market capitalization of approximately US$188 billion (as at 16 August 2010).

BHP Billiton was created through the dual listed companies (DLC) merger of BHP Limited (now BHP Billiton Limited) and Billiton Plc (now BHP Billiton Plc), which was concluded on 29 June 2001. BHP Billiton Limited and BHP Billiton Plc continue to exist as separate companies, but operate on a combined basis as BHP Billiton and retain their respective listings on the Australian and London stock exchanges. Both companies have identical boards of directors and are run by a unified management team. Shareholders in each company have equivalent economic and voting rights in BHP Billiton as a whole. The global headquarters of the combined BHP Billiton are located in Melbourne, Australia.

Published 18/12/2010

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