Immediately after the collapse in the San José mine on 5 August, which
trapped 33 miners underground for 67 days, Australian mining companies
including BHP Billiton, Xstrata Copper and Reflex provided equipment,
technical personnel and financial assistance for the rescue effort.
The governments of Australia and Chile today agreed to build on this
experience by developing formal cooperation in responses to mine disasters
and other emergencies.
Meeting with Chilean President Piñera, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said
Australia has a very friendly relationship with Chile, and wants to further
strengthen those ties with practical cooperation.
Our Governments signed a letter of intent today to negotiate a Memorandum
of Understanding for the exchange of scientific and technical information
relating to Emergency Management Cooperation," Mr Rudd said.
In meetings with Chilean Ministers, Mr Rudd agreed that the existing
Memorandum of Understanding on Mining Cooperation would be expanded to
include mine rescue management and mine safety regulations.
Australia and Chile will also work more closely together to tackle climate
change and protect the environment, following the signing today of the
Australia-Chile Pacific Environment Declaration.
“Chile Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Alfredo Moreno Charme and I have
signed a number of joint agreements to work together on marine environment
protection with new commitments on renewable energy and climate,” Mr Rudd
"This includes a commitment to share research into the effects of climate
change and the development of a low carbon economy."
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555