BEHIND the curtain of a media blackout, both BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and a trio of unions released identical statements confirming good news was on the horizon in their battle for a new enterprise bargaining agreement.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Electrical Trades Union have been battling the metal-making coal miner for more than 18 months.
On Friday evening a joint press release stated that a "framework agreement" had been accepted, something that would "guide the finalisation" of the deal.
Trade unionist Bill Kelty and Federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten worked with each side as they begrudgingly entered mediation on Monday.
A condition of the discussions was each side would maintain media silence.