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The BHP Billiton Board of Directors extends its deepest sympathies to all who have been affected by the tragic events at the Samarco iron ore operation in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The Board emphasised the Company would continue to provide Samarco with all the assistance necessary to support the response effort.

“Words cannot describe the impact of this tragedy on the employees and contractors of Samarco, their families and the community,” said BHP Billiton Chairman, Jac Nasser.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Samarco, the affected community and with the people of Brazil.”

BHP Billiton has extended immediate support to Samarco and continues to work closely with Vale, which is also a 50 per cent shareholder in the joint venture company.

BHP Billiton CEO, Andrew Mackenzie, will visit the incident site this week to meet with the Samarco response team, authorities and members of the community to understand first-hand the human, environmental and operational effects of the incident.

“Our first priority is to assist Samarco in safely and effectively responding to this terrible tragedy,” Mr Mackenzie said.

“BHP Billiton employees have been deeply affected by this tragic event and Samarco has our full support as it continues with the response effort.”

As operator, Samarco is providing updates on the response and the status of operations. Further information is available at: http://www.samarco.com

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