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Number 20/08

BHP Billiton announced today that, effective 5 June 2008, force majeure has been lifted across the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) managed operations (including BHP Billiton Mitsui (BMC)). Force majeure was put in place on 24 January 2008 following extreme weather and flooding across the central Queensland coalfields.

On 25 February 2008, BHP Billiton advised that its equity coal production loss from flooding at its BMA and BMC operations was estimated to be between 3.7 and 4.6 million tonnes. The latest assessment indicates that BHP Billiton’s share of production loss is expected to be at the upper end of that range. Discussions are continuing with insurance assessors to progress claims arising from the events.

The extreme weather and declaration of force majeure has also resulted in delivery delays for some of the 2007 sales contracts. Sales from BMA and BMC during the 2008 financial year are expected to include approximately 2.1 million tonnes (BHP Billiton share) of coal priced at the higher 2008 agreed prices. Approximately 1.4 million tonnes (BHP Billiton share) of coal that will be delivered in the first quarter of the next financial year will be sold at 2007 prices.

For further information please contact:

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

Leng Lau, Investor Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 4202  Mobile: +61 403 533 706
email: Leng.Y.Lau

United Kingdom & South Africa
Andre Liebenberg, Investor Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4131  Mobile: +44 7920 236 974

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

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