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Mining Explorers 2009: BHP Billiton plc


Last updated 11/1/2009 at Noon


Chief Executive Officer:

Marius Kloppers

Chief Financial Officer: Alex Vanselow

London-based BHP Billiton, one of the world's largest diversified resources companies, owns nearly 80 percent of the Ekati diamond mine, Canada's first surface and underground diamond mine, which officially began production in 1998. Located about 310 kilometers, or about 192 miles, northeast of Yellowknife, Ekati has about 156 kimberlite pipes with both open-pit and underground mining operations. The Panda and Koala pits are underground mines with open-cut mining occurring in the Fox and Beartooth pits. Ekati produces an average of 3.5 million carats of rough diamonds annually, which represents about 3 percent of current world rough diamond supply by weight and 6 percent by value.

BHP has invested in several exploration ventures north of the 60th parallel in recent years, including the Chidliak Project on Baffin Island in Nunavut. The major has committed at least C$22 million to exploration expenditures at Chidliak to acquire a 51 percent stake in the venture. In 2009, BHP funded the lion's share of the C$9.2 million exploration program at Chidliak led by Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. In September, the junior reported the presence of surprisingly prolific small, high-quality diamonds in bulk samples taken from at least two of the 16 kimberlites discovered so far on the 9,800-square-kilometer, or 3,784-square-mile, property. Exploration is ongoing.

Cash and short-term deposits: US$10.83 billion

Market capitalization:

US$172.52 billion

#1102, 4920-52nd St.

Yellowknife, NT X1A 3T1

Phone: 867-669-6100

Fax: 867-669-9293


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