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BHP Says PNG Removing Ok Tedi Protections Raises Sovereign Risk

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, said Papua New Guinea’s decision to legislate to make the company liable for environmental damage caused by the Ok Tedi mine raised the nation’s sovereign risk.

“The removal of protections that were legislated for BHP Billiton at the time that it gifted its shareholding to PNG raises squarely the question of sovereign risk for PNG,” the Melbourne-based company said today in an e-mailed statement.