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Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi was today appointed as Chairman of BHP Billiton South Africa. In this role, Dr Mkhwanazi will have overall responsibility for BHP Billiton's corporate activities in South Africa. This includes: Leading the implementation of BHP Billiton's strategy in South Africa, ownership of the company's transformation and sustainability agenda, leading government engagement at all levels, and overall responsibility for leading BHP Billiton's regional office in Johannesburg.

Dr Mkhwanazi will be replacing Dr Vincent Maphai, who has decided to leave the company to pursue business and other interests. Between now and the end of the year, Dr Maphai will ensure a smooth handover of his responsibilities to Dr Mkhwanazi, whose appointment is effective from 15 October 2008. For a further additional period, Dr Maphai has graciously agreed to assist with BHP Billiton's issues in South Africa, as required.

Dr Mkhwanazi will also be the Chairman of BHP Billiton Energy Coal SA (BECSA) and will Chair our South African Operations Committee. This Committee is comprised of the global Presidents of the Aluminium, Coal and Manganese business groups. He has held prior roles with BHP Billiton as President of BECSA and previously he was Chief Operating Officer for BHP Billiton Aluminium.

Marcus Randolph, Chief Executive of Ferrous and Coal for BHP Billiton, said, "Vincent has provided solid leadership for BHP Billiton in South Africa and on the African continent through a period of consolidation and growth. Throughout he has remained passionate about transformation and sustainability and has provided great insights that have helped us grow our South African businesses. In Xolani's appointment, we see an opportunity to renew our commitment to both South Africa and its transformation agenda."

Dr Mkhwanazi said, "I am humbled to be asked to succeed Vincent and to carry on the work he has done, especially on the critical issue of transformation. BHP Billiton has a substantial footprint in Southern Africa and it is an honour to be able to play a role in continuing our strategy here."

For further information please contact:

Bronwyn Wilkinson, Investor Relations
Tel:+44 20 7802 4015 Mobile: +447500 785 892

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


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