RPT-BHP, Mitsubishi eye bauxite, alumina in Cambodia

RPT-BHP, Mitsubishi eye bauxite, alumina in Cambodia

BHP Billiton Ltd./Plc. BLT.L and Mitsubishi Corp. 8058.T have signed an agreement with the Cambodian government to explore for bauxite in the country’s eastern region, BHP Billiton said on Wednesday.

The agreement allows the two companies to explore for bauxite, used to make alumina, across the Momdolkiri region in eastern Cambodia, a BHP Billiton spokeswoman said from the company’s Australian headquarters in Melbourne.

The two companies would also look at the potential for constructing an alumina-making plant in Cambodia if bauxite mining proved feasible, she said.

“This is preliminary at this stage as it is very early days,” the spokeswoman said.

BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi would also have exclusive rights to negotiate a mining agreement with the government once the exploration work was completed, which was most likely in the first half of 2008, she said.

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