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Number 10/06

Following an assessment of ground conditions, BHP Billiton will accelerate a programme of decline and stope access rehabilitation at the Cannington silver-lead-zinc mine in Australia from May to November 2006. This will impact production in the southern zone of the mine. The northern zone mining activities will remain unaffected.

The primary reason for the programme is to ensure the safety of employees and contractors and is aligned with BHP Billiton's commitment to Zero Harm. In addition, this programme will reduce ground stresses that have the potential to limit long term production and should enable higher production levels than would otherwise be the case.

Production is expected to return to normal levels by early 2007. The overall impact is expected to see a reduction in ore milled of approximately 20% over the remainder of FY2006 and FY2007. This will predominantly impact sales in the first half of FY2007.

For further information please contact:

Jane Belcher, Investor Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 3952  Mobile: +61 417 031 653

Samantha Evans, Media Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 2898  Mobile: +61 400 693 915

United Kingdom
Mark Lidiard, Investor & Media Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4156  Mobile: +44 7769 934 942

Illtud Harri, Media Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4195  Mobile: +44 7920 237 246

United States
Tracey Whitehead, Investor & Media Relations
Tel: US +1 713 599 6100 or UK +44 20 7802 4031
Mobile: +44 7917 648 093

South Africa
Alison Gilbert, Investor Relations
Tel: SA +27 11 376 2121 or UK +44 20 7802 4183

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