Date: 23 October 2001
Number: 21/01


BHP Billiton today reached agreement for the sale of its 80 per cent
interest in the PT Arutmin  Indonesia (Arutmin) energy coal mining
operations in Kalimantan, Indonesia to PT Bumi Resources Tbk for
$US 148 million. The remaining 20 per cent equity in PT Arutmin is
held by PT Bakrie and Brothers Tbk.

The sale agreement is subject to certain conditions and Government
approvals being met.

PT Arutmin operates two open-cut energy coal mines, Senakin and Satui,
in south Kalimantan. The mines produce approximately 11 million tonnes
per annum of thermal coal which is predominantly exported to Asian markets.

BHP Billiton Energy Coal will continue its association with PT Arutmin
by providing marketing services to the purchasers. The Marketing Services
Agreement provides for BHP Billiton to market 75 per cent of the current
coal production.

President BHP Billiton Energy Coal Mike Oppenheimer said the sale agreement
had a sound commercial basis as well as meeting the Government requirements.
"This is definitely a win for all parties and we appreciate the cooperation
of the Indonesia authorities in bringing the transaction to fruition," he said.

Mr Oppenheimer added: "The Marketing Services Agreement provides a strong
platform for repositioning and further developing our investments in Indonesia.
In addition, the Agreement enhances the inherent value of the business through
BHP Billiton's world-wide marketing expertise and our strong relationship
with existing customers."

BHP Billiton has now met its obligation under Indonesia law to sell down
its interest in PT Arutmin to allow majority Indonesian ownership of
the project. BHP Billiton has worked cooperatively with the Indonesian
Government in meeting the legal requirements set out in the Coal Contract
of Work (CCOW) applying to PT Arutmin and the result is believed to be
the first transaction of its kind in Indonesia.

In addition to the agreement to continue marketing PT Arutmin coal,
BHP Billiton's continuing interests in Indonesia include the management of
PT BHP Kendilo Coal Indonesia, an energy coal mine in East Kalimantan, and a
range of advanced exploration developments.

Further news and information can be found on our
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