Ingwe announces name change to BHP Billiton Energy Coal SA

29th January 2007

Ingwe Collieries, BHP Billiton's wholly-owned South African coal business, announced on Monday that its registered company name would change to BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa, from January 31. Simultaneously, all Ingwe business unit logos as well as the corporate “leopard” logo would be replaced with the BHP Billiton logo.

All Ingwe business units would retain their names.

“The objective of the name and logo changes is to align and reinforce the BHP Billiton brand globally,” the company said in an emailed statement.

“Our South African coal business is a key part of our energy coal business which is core to BHP Billiton,” said BHP Billiton Energy Coal president Mahomed Seedat.

“BHP Billiton is committed in the long term to Southern Africa and this brand alignment will assist in raising the company's profile in the region. This commitment extends not only to our Energy Coal operations, but also to activities in other commodities,” BHP Billiton Southern Africa chairperson Vincent Maphai stated.

The brand alignment would not affect Ingwe's relationship with its stakeholders, BHP Billiton said.

Late last year, the Competition Tribunal announced that it had unconditionally approved the acquisition of Koornfontein mine by a black economic-empowerment consortium from Ingwe Collieries, and Ingwe has also indicated it intends to sell its Optimum coal mine, which has led to market speculation that it may pull out of South Africa all together.

BHP Billiton, however, has denied this.

Ingwe is South Africa's biggest coal producer and one of the largest energy coal exporters in the world.