Korea, Chile agree to expand mining, energy cooperation
Korea and Chile agreed to expand mining and energy cooperation that can help ensure better use of important natural resources, the government said Friday.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said that under the memorandum of understanding reached in Santiago, both sides concurred on the need for joint exploration of resources, sharing information on development projects and technological exchange.
At the gathering between government officials and entrepreneurs from the two countries, Seoul explained its ongoing effort to invest in overseas natural resources. It said to help ensure steady exchange of knowhow and growth, the government or the public sector should take the lead, with the private sector following suit and making necessary investments.
Two-way trade between the two countries that set up a free trade agreement in April 2004 reached $7.24 billion in 2011, from just $1.58 billion in 2003.
South Korea also offered support in reclamation works for closed mines, which can cause pollution, and the establishment of a viable blueprint that can be followed for cleanup operations.
In addition, Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Seok-woo called for joint projects in the renewable energy field such as wind power generation and smart grids.
Chile's Mining Minister Hernan de Solminihac said that closer bilateral ties will benefit both sides. He pointed out that South Korea's prowess in energy technology and development sectors make it an ideal partner for Chile, which is building up related industries.
Chile has the world's largest deposit of lithium, copper, silver, iodine and rhenium, and has the third largest known reserve of
molybdenum and considerable gold deposits. The country supplies 75.8 percent of all lithium produced in the world, which is vital for making rechargeable batteries, and 29.6 percent of all copper. (Yonhap)