Miners urged to look to South America
Anglo-American's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile. Picture: AFP

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson is hoping more Australian mining companies set up operations in Latin America.

Australia's resources sector has 200 mining projects in Latin America, with 40 operations in Brazil alone.

Mr Ferguson said freer trade between Australia and South America's resource-rich nations would be mutually beneficial.

"Most South American countries have expressed a desire to increase foreign investment, including from Australia," he told an Australia-Latin America resources conference in Sydney in a video message.

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

Mr Ferguson said Australian and Latin American companies should share more of their expertise.

"These are so large that they'll likely challenge the effects of increased competition between our two regions as our resources industries expand," he said.

Australia and Brazil account for 44 per cent of global iron ore production, making them "superpowers", Mr Ferguson said.

The West Australian

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