Date:7 November 2001
Number: 30/01


Ingwe Coal Corporation Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of BHP Billiton,
together with its Joint Venture partner, Tavistock Collieries (Pty) Limited,
a wholly owned subsidiary of Duiker Mining, today announced that they will
be closing down the Rietspruit energy coal mine.

President of BHP Billiton Energy Coal Mike Oppenheimer said: "Even though
the reserve base at Rietspruit is essentially depleted, the decision to
expedite the closure is related to the current softness in our main export
energy coal markets. Any future decision on the replacement of volumes
produced at Rietspruit will also depend on market conditions."

"Rietspruit's volumes will reduce by approximately 40 per cent in December
2001 with the closure of the underground operations and the remaining
opencast production will cease during May 2002".

Rietspruit currently produces some 4 million tonnes of energy coal per annum
for the export market.

The social and environmental impact of the mine's closure has been a focus
point for the Joint Venture partners, together with the trade unions, with
much effort placed on the development of a world class social plan aimed at
minimising the economic impact on  Rietspruit's 728 employees.  The social
plan focuses on non-mining related job creation to ensure the sustainability
of the Rietspruit Village and the community.

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