Chile in our sights
THERE is an international flavour to the Queensland Mining Expo and the biggest group is an official delegation of 30 from the South American nation of Chile.
Among them, although he was in town for less than 24 hours, was the Chilean Vice Minister of Mining, Pablo Wagner.
Mr Wagner was hosted by the MAIN Export Group and he was keen to both support his own delegation and promote his country's lithium mining opportunities, and absorb information from Australian manufacturers and suppliers.
"In Chile we are investing around $180 billion in the next eight years in the mining industry alone," Mr Wagner said.
"We want to create a dual association between suppliers of the mining industry, and so we want to look at new products and solutions in engineering, energy, equipment, water and safety."
It was the Chilean minister's first visit to Australia.
MAIN Export Group chairman Tony Britton said one Paget-based business, IESA Pty Ltd, already had a strong link with the Chilean mining giant Codelco, and they wanted to promote opportunities for others.
IESA will conduct environmental monitoring on nine Chilean mine sites over the next five years.
"Mr Wagner will take information back about our companies here, and our members may be able to do business," Mr Britton said.
"Chile is an important mining investment destination for Australian companies and we have a lot to offer."
Six Chilean mining supply companies are promoting their businesses on the ProChile stand at QME, an initiative of the Trade Commission of Chile.
Some of the delegates will be shining a spotlight on Exponor 2013, which is the biggest mining expo held in Latin America.
Reed exhibitions director Paul Baker said there were also groups from China, Indonesia and New Zealand at QME.