The company said it had determined the trial mine was not a sufficient fit with its long-term strategy.
“Further evaluation of the company’s interests in the Maruwai Coal Project is underway to determine the best future commercial options,” BHP said.
In mid-2008 the miner had announced plans to spend $US100 million in the area with the Haju mine slated to initially produce 1 million tonnes per annum of metallurgical coal.
First production was expected in mid-2009.
The Maruwai coal deposit was first discovered by BHP Billiton Minerals Exploration in the late 1990s.
BHP shares closed down 4.4% yesterday to $36.50.