Austrade Co-Hosts Pavilion at the International Mining Conference in Medellin Colombia – Expanding Economic Ties Between the Australian and Colombian Mining Industries
(News4us.com) November 10, 2010
Fourteen Australian mining companies exhibited at the International Mining Conference in Medellin, Colombia last month, in an effort to expand economic ties between the Australian and Colombian mining industries.
The Australian Trade Commission – Austrade – co-hosted the Australian pavilion at the conference, in conjunction with Austmine, the Queensland Government, the National Business Association of Colombia and the Government of Antioquia. Mine site visits and an executive business lunch were also held.
Senior Trade Commissioner, Crispin Conroy, said Austrade is focussing on key emerging markets in Latin America, many of which endured the global financial crisis well, and are showing strong growth.
Mr Conroy said, “The focus is on the ‘Latin Six’ counties of Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Colombia.
“Colombia is considered one of the most exciting markets, with its investment friendly policies, Asia Pacific focus and significant improvements in the security environment.
“Colombia is relatively unexplored in mining terms, and there is major interest in Australia’s mining expertise, including investment and our world renowned equipment, technology and services companies,” Mr Conroy said.
“Australian firm BHP Billiton is Colombia’s largest tax payer, with its Cerro Matoso nickel mine in northern Colombia and major share in the Cerrejón thermal coal mine. Australia is also one of the three largest investors in Colombia,” he said.
“Another Australian company, WorleyParsons, currently has A$25 million worth of contracts with BHP Billiton’s nickel mine. WorleyParsons has established a permanent presence in Bogota to secure new business in mining, energy and infrastructure sectors.
“This exciting progress builds on separate agreements signed recently between the Government of Antioquia and the Queensland Government and Austmine,” Mr Conroy said.
A Colombia mining investment review, commissioned by Austrade, Austmine and Colombia’s Asomineros National Business Association, stated Colombia’s mineral production is expected to increase dramatically in the next decade. It projected potential mining investments of up to US$24 billion, including $12.5 billion of coal projects, $5 billion of gold, $4.5 billion of base metals and $2 billion of exploration, between 2010 and 2020.
In further displays of solidarity, the Australian-Colombian Business Group was launched in Australia by Colombia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jaime Bermudez earlier this year. Colombia’s Minister of Mining and Energy, Carlos Rodado, is planning to visit Australia in the coming months.
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