Aussie miners should look to South America: Ferguson

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson says more Australian companies should look to Latin America as a mining destination.

Ferguson said he wanted to encourage Australian investment in the region to help both parts of the world share resources and expertise.

He also said Latin America was keen for Australian investment.

"Most South American countries have expressed a desire to increase foreign investment, including from Australia," he said.

"I hope this trend will continue so resource companies will become more engaged with countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Equator, Paraguay and Uruguay."

According to AAP Australia's resources sector currently has 200 mining projects in Latin America, with 40 of these in Brazil.

Ferguson told the Australia-Latin America resources conference in Sydney both Australia and Brazil were mining "superpowers" and accounted for 44 per cent of global iron ore production.

Last year the trade commissioner at the Australian embassy in Peru, Dan Sullivan, told Australian Mining he was concerned Australian companies were missing out on opportunities in Latin America.

“There are around 35 Australian companies, but there are around 300 to 400 Canadian companies here, the Canadians are all over South America, which means that Australian mining companies are missing out on the opportunities here, and this worries me,” he said.

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