3 April 2002
Number 19/02


BHP Billiton today announced approval for the development of a new
iron ore mine at Mining Area C and an expansion of its Pt Hedland port
and rail facilities, both in the Pilbara region of north Western

Capital costs for the two projects are expected to be US$213 million
for development of the new mine (BHP Billiton share US$181 million) and
US$351 million for the Port and Capacity Expansion (BHP Billiton share
US$299 million).

The Mining Area C development has the potential to increase iron ore
production by up to 15 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2011.
The Port and Capacity Expansion (PACE) will increase BHP Billiton's
export capacity from 67mtpa to 81mtpa by 2004 and provide the
foundations for expansion to over 90mtpa by 2011, an increase of more
than 40 per cent.

As part of the Mining Area C development, BHP Billiton has entered into
a joint venture with POSCO, whereby POSCO will acquire a 20 per cent
interest in the 'C Deposit' section of Mining Area C.

Under the agreement POSCO has committed to purchase a minimum of three
million tonnes per annum of MAC(TM) ore following initial ramp-up and
to maintain a long-term strategic alliance with BHP Billiton for supply
of other iron ore products.

BHP Billiton Deputy CEO Brian Gilbertson said: "The development of Mining
Area C signals a new era of growth in our Western Australian iron ore
operations and further consolidates our strong relationship with a core
customer and one of the most efficient and innovative steel makers
in the world.

"For BHP Billiton and its Goldsworthy JV partners this is the first step
in unlocking the significant Marra Mamba resource in Mining Area C, which
will target the growing requirements for high 'Value in Use' ore from
Asia's direct blast furnace steelmakers.

"In addition, the development of Mining Area C marks our determination
to maintain BHP Billiton's share of the global seaborne market for
iron ore."

All necessary approvals and agreements are in place for construction of
the new mine to commence immediately, with full-scale mining of the
'C Deposit' sub-lease to begin in 2003. Development of the PACE project
will commence later this calendar year subject to final regulatory approvals.

"The staged expansion of the port facilities over the next decade will
provide system capacity to ensure we can meet the predicted growth in
demand for both the new Marra Mamba ores and our existing Brockman and
Yandi ores in the Asian region," Mr Gilbertson said.

Mining Area C is located 37 kilometres from BHP Billiton's existing
Yandi mine and contains the largest undeveloped Marra Mamba resource in
the Pilbara.

The resource is currently estimated at 890 million tonnes with significant
further exploration potential. 'C Deposit' is located on the northern flank
of Mining Area C and contains a proven reserve of 161 million tonnes and a
probable reserve of 29 million tonnes (total 189 million tonnes rounded).

The new Mining Area C development will include:

- The development of a 15mtpa mine and processing facility to produce
Marra Mamba lump and fines;

- Construction of a 38km railway spur, linking Mining Area C operations
to Yandi;

- Installation of infrastructure including power, water, airstrip and
access roads, and

- Accommodation facilities for a 500-strong construction workforce and
a permanent operations workforce of 150.

Expansion of the port facilities will include:

- Developing a new Western Stockyard;
- A major upgrade and enhancement of dust suppression systems;
- Upgrading the under harbour tunnel conveyor from 4,500 tph to
10,000 tph;
- Establishing an additional lump re-screening facility, and
- Extension of existing shipping berths.

The first phase of the port expansion will increase capacity from 67mtpa
to 81mtpa by 2004 and will require a workforce of approximately 400.
About 20 new permanent positions will be created by the port expansion.

Capital expenditure for PACE includes the installation of more modern
and efficient dust suppression systems at the port facility, expected to
cost about US$33 million (BHP Billiton share US$28 million).

Under the POSMAC joint venture arrangement, ownership of the 'C Deposit'
development will be BHP Billiton 65 per cent, POSCO 20 per cent, CI Minerals
Australia Pty Ltd 8 per cent and Mitsui Iron Ore Corporation 7 per cent.


The information in this report that relates to Mineral Resources and Ore
Reserves is based on information compiled by M. Kneeshaw (resources) and
P. Schultz (reserves) who are employees of BHP Billiton and who are a
Fellow and Member respectively of The Australasian Institute of Mining
and Metallurgy.

M Kneeshaw and P Shultz have sufficient experience which is relevant to
the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and
to the activity which they are undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person
as defined in the 1999 Edition of the "Australasian Code for Reporting of
Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves".  M Kneeshaw and P Shultz consent to
the inclusion in the report of the matters based on their information in
the form and context in which it appears.

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