Ceramic Industry

BHP Billiton Releases 4th Qtr Exploration and Development Report

January 21, 2010

BHP Billiton recently released a report that covers the Group’s exploration and development activities for the quarter ended December 31, 2009. (Unless otherwise stated, BHP Billiton’s interest in the projects referred to in this report is 100% and references to project schedules are based on calendar years.)

BHP Billiton announced approval for $240 million of capital expenditure to support the development of the first stages of the Jansen Potash Project in Saskatchewan, Canada. This pre-approval expenditure will facilitate the early-stage work for the establishment of the production and service shafts. The Jansen project, which is being designed to ultimately produce approximately 8 million metric tons per year of agricultural-grade potash, represents BHP Billiton's first production of potash.

Grassroots exploration continued on copper targets in Chile, Argentina and Zambia; nickel targets in Australia; manganese targets in Gabon; and diamond targets in Canada. Exploration for iron ore, coal, bauxite and manganese was undertaken in a number of regions, including Australia, South America, Russia and West Africa.

For the half-year ended December 31, 2009, BHP Billiton spent $239 million on minerals exploration, of which $220 million was expensed. Consistent with BHP Billiton’s growth strategy, the total forecast exploration expenditure for the 2010 financial year increased by $200 million to $800 million, primarily due to increased drilling activity.

Visit www.bhpbilliton.com for additional details.