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Partnership between the South Australian government and the Republic of Chile strengthens technical capabilities in mineral exploration

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Chile and South Australia are two of the world’s most prospective copper provinces – Chile has the world’s largest copper reserves and South Australia has 68% of Australia’s known copper reserves, including three of Australia’s most significant new copper discoveries in the past 10 years.

South Australia is a world leader in exploration for iron oxide-copper gold mineralisation systems, whereas Chile is a leader for copper porphyry systems. With a high potential for both of these styles of mineralisation to be present in each other’s country, sharing knowledge in these areas is considered a key priority.

Renewal of MoU with the Government of Chile 2016

South Australia's ties with copper-rich Chile have been strengthened with the re-signing of a mineral resources partnership in Adelaide on 18 May 2016.

The renewal of this MoU, signed by Mr Rodrigo Alvarez the Director of the National Geology and Mining Service (SERNAGEOMIN) of Chile and Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis, extends the partnership a further five years from 2016 until 2021.

The renewed MoU builds on continuous technical and scientific improvement, and it has been expanded to exchange leading practices for environmental management and the regulation of major mining operations.

A Chilean Government delegation led by Mr Ignacio Moreno, Undersecretary of Mining, met with Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis today to sign the MoU.

Renewal of Chile-South Australia MoU

Minister Koutsantonis, South Australian Government Minister for Mining and Energy Resources and Mr Ignacio Moreno, Under Secretary of Mining of the Republic of Chile.

Chilean government visit to the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library 2016

Chilean government visit to the Core Library 2016

Mr Terry Burgess, Economic Development Board member and Chair of South Australia Chamber of Mines and Energy; Mr Ignacio Moreno, Undersecretary of Mining of the Republic of Chile and Mr David Groom, Manager, South Australia Drill Core Reference Library.

 Chilean government visit to the Core Library 2016

Mr Ignacio Moreno, Undersecretary of Mining of the Republic of Chile and Ms Pia Suarez, Chief of International Affairs Branch, Ministry of Mining, Chile inspecting core at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library.

Terry Burgess, Ignacio Moreno and Steve Hill at the Drill Core Reference Library

Dr Steve Hill, Director Geological Survey of South Australia; Mr Ignacio Moreno, Undersecretary of Mining of the Republic of Chile; and Mr Terry Burgess, Economic Development Board member and Chair of South Australia Chamber of Mines and Energy at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library.

Continuing the partnership with the Chilean Government - PDAC 2015

Minister Koutsantonis, the South Australian Government Minister for Mineral and Energy Resources, met with Mr Ignacio Moreno, Vice Minister of Mining of the Republic of Chile, on 3 March 2015 at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) international convention.

Both parties agreed to develop a new MOU for Bilateral Cooperation in the Mining Industry. The Department of State Development and the National Geological and Mining Survey of Chile (SERNAGEOMIN) are currently in negotiations regarding this MOU.

Minister Koutsantonis and Senior Executives from the Department of State Development meet with the Vice Minister of Mining of the Republic of Chile, 3 March 2015, PDAC

Minister Koutsantonis, South Australian Government Minister for Mining and Energy Resources; Mr Ignacio Moreno, Vice Minister of Mining of the Republic of Chile; representatives of the Chilean Government; Mr Sergio Hernández, Executive Vice President Chilean Copper Commission and representatives of the South Australian Department of State Development.

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Minister Aurora Williams visits South Australia 2014

In September 2014 the South Australian Government forged a new partnership with the Chilean Ministry of Mining, hosting a visit from Minister Aurora Williams, Minister of Mining of the Republic of Chile.

Both jurisdictions agreed to develop a program to share technical expertise as a result of common geoscientific interests in copper.

Minister Williams had the opportunity to visit BHP Billiton's Olympic Dam operations at Roxby Downs and the State Government Drill Core Reference Library at Glenside, Adelaide.

Chilean Minister Aurora Williams visits the South Australian Government Drill Core Reference Library

Minister Williams visiting the South Australian Government Drill Core Reference Library at Glenside, 27 September 2014.

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SERNAGEOMIN visit to GSSA 2013

The collaboration between South Australia and Chile which focuses on geological models and exploration methods for copper mineralisation was advanced during a visit to the GSSA by two senior Chilean officials from the SERNAGEOMIN.

Julio Poblete (Head of National Geological and Mining Survey, SERNAGEOMIN) and Dr Luis Ignacio Silva (Director of Geology, SERNAGEOMIN) visited South Australia between 30 May and 5 June, 2013 as part of the Memorandum of understanding between the South Australian Government and the Government of the Republic of Chile.

The SERNAGEOMIN officials met with staff from the then Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (now the Department for State Development) to develop a detailed project plan for the life of the MOU that will involve reciprocal visits from geologists of each geological survey and collaborative research on copper mineral systems.

During the visit, the Chilean delegation gained exposure to South Australian mineral systems with visits to Olympic Dam and the regional geology surrounding Hillside on the Yorke Peninsula. The Yorke Peninsula field visits, led by GSSA Director Steve Hill, provided SERNAGEOMIN staff an appreciation of some of the transported cover in South Australia and exploration methods that have been used to explore through the cover.

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Memorandum of understanding with the Chilean Geological Survey

A Memorandum of understanding (MOU) for bilateral cooperation in the mining industry has been established between the Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA) and the National Geological and Mining Survey of Chile, Servicio Nacional de Geolgoia y Mineria (SERNAGEOMIN).

The MOU provides a framework for technical cooperation and exchange between economic geologists in the GSSA and the SERNAGEOMIN as well as under-pinning cross-investment opportunities in copper exploration and mining.

The MOU was signed in Adelaide on 2 July 2012 by Minister Koutsantonis, Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy for the Government of SA and His Excellency Hernán Eduardo de Solminihac Tampier, Minister of Mining for Chile, in the presence of His Excellency Ambassador Pedro Pablo Díaz Herrera, Ambassador of the Republic of Chile.

More about the GSSA–SERNAGEOMIN MOU

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Exploring the South Australia–Chile resources connection

In 2011 Dr Tim Baker, Director of the Geological Survey of South Australia visited Chile through an invitation to be a keynote speaker at the international conference of the Society of Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA).

The visit also included a meeting with SERNAGEOMIN – Geological Branch in Santiago, Chile’s national geological survey. Discussions centred on potential for geoscience collaboration and PACE-style initiatives.

The meeting outlined future directions that included working towards a memorandum of understanding between the two jurisdictions and future reciprocal visits.

The South Australian Government and the Geological Survey of South Australia embarked on developing connections with Chile to attract investment and build on commonalties and existing connections.

More about the South Australia–Chile resources connection

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For more information, contact:

Ms Maria Galatsanos
Manager Minerals Investment

Phone: +61 8 8463 3158
Mobile: +61 434 074 860
Email: maria.galatsanos@sa.gov.au