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On 5 June 2009, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto signed a non-binding agreement to establish a production joint venture covering the entirety of both companies' Western Australian iron ore assets.

Under the terms of the agreement up to 15 per cent of production was proposed to be sold by the joint venture, independent of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Following discussions between the two companies, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have decided not to proceed with the joint venture marketing activity. As a result, all production from the proposed joint venture would be marketed separately by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

The two companies believe that this change will clarify the nature of the JV for customers and emphasise its focus on realising significant production and development synergies.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are pleased with progress towards definitive JV agreements and expect to finalise these agreements on schedule.

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