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BHP Billiton Advances Jansen Potash Project

BHP Billiton BHP Billiton today announced progression of the Jansen Potash Project into the Feasibility study phase, an advanced stage of the BHP Billiton project approvals process. This decision further highlights the Group's ongoing commitment to the Project, the Province of Saskatchewan and Canada. In December 2010, BHP Billiton submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Project to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment.

In January 2010, BHP Billiton allotted pre-commitment funding of US$240 million to support the early development of Jansen. BHP Billiton has commenced drilling and site preparation for the ground freezing process that is required prior to the sinking of the production and service shafts. Based on the current schedule, Jansen is expected to start producing saleable potash from its 3,370 million tonne in-situ Mineral Resource in calendar year 2015. The Project is designed to produce approximately 8 million tonnes per annum of agricultural grade potash over an estimated 70 year life.

Graham Kerr, President of BHP Billiton Diamonds and Specialty Products, said:

"We are very pleased to announce that Jansen has now moved into the next phase of its development. The Jansen Project has the potential to become one of the world's premier potash mines and the platform for a significant and scalable potash business for BHP Billiton.

He added:

"BHP Billiton's strategy is to develop and safely operate large, long-life, low-cost assets and we continue to make progress at our Boulder, Young, Burr and Melville sites. We look forward to continuing to work on our growth projects with our Canadian suppliers and host communities as we seek to build a significant presence in Saskatchewan."

BHP Billiton will also continue its community development program as Jansen progresses, ensuring that local communities, Métis and First Nations benefit from our growth in Saskatchewan.

Published 02/02/2011

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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.

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