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BHP Billiton and Anaconda Nickel today announced that they have reached agreement for the sale of two Anaconda tenements, covering an area of approximately 156 square kilometres near Ravensthorpe in Western Australia for A$600,000.

Anaconda Group General Manager Stephen Dennis said that although the transaction was not material, it did reinforce Anaconda’s focus on Murrin Murrin.

“The two tenements, comprising two exploration licences and several applications, are unlikely to contribute to the project in the long-term and the company has taken the opportunity to realise value for them,” Mr Dennis said.

BHP Billiton President Nickel Operations - Western Australia Ken Hellsten said the parties had been talking for some time and the transaction represented a sensible outcome for both, especially since the tenements were adjacent to Ravensthorpe’s proposed mine, and several hundred kilometres from Murrin Murrin.

Ravensthorpe is likely to be the first of a second generation of Pressure Acid Leach (PAL) projects being progressed in conjunction with the brownfield expansion of Yabulu Refinery in Queensland.

The project is scheduled to move into a Definitive Feasibility Study early in 2002.

The project’s unique beneficiation characteristics provide high-grade feed to the process plant through a simple scrubbing and screening process, which will deliver operating costs in the lowest quartile.

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