Singapore, 18 Oct 2005
Mining Ministers to Identify Solutions to Increased Resources Demand and Environmental Sustainability Issues
Issued by the 2nd Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining
APEC Mining Ministers will meet to confront several challenges relating to current global minerals' demand and the environmental sustainability of the mining sector.
The Second Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining will be held in Gyeongju, Korea, on 20 October.
Dr Bong-Hyeon Joo, Director General for Energy Resources Policy, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said the meeting will give Ministers from each of APEC's 21 Member Economies the opportunity to make a contribution to the future direction of the regional mining sector.
"Minerals and metal mining is relevant to the citizens of the Asia-Pacific as almost every person in our region uses products provided by the mining industry," Dr. Joo said.
"Current demand pressure on mined resources is affecting people in the region from higher fuel bills through to increasingly expensive consumer goods."
"Ministers will look at options to enhance supply stability in order to strengthen the regional economy to withstand further price-induced shocks. Ministers will also discuss a range of individual measures including incentives to encourage additional exploration and avenues for strengthening reliable stockpiling measures."
Dr. Joo said another significant issue that Ministers will discuss will be the environmental sustainability of the mining sector.
"APEC Member Economies seek to obtain the optimum benefit from our mining sector while at the same time ensuring the environmental integrity of the areas where mining takes place," Dr. Joo said.
"This means Ministers from the diverse range of APEC Member Economies must consult and work together to ensure that environmental protection measures are relevant and workable in all economies.
"If we do not work to protect the environment now, it is not only the mining industry but human welfare that will suffer over time."
"As one of the major outcomes of the meeting, APEC member economies will establish an APEC Mining Industry Forum after the meeting," Dr. Joo said.
The Ministerial Meeting will be attended by Ministers and delegates from Member Economies with official presentations made to Ministers by a range of industry researchers and experts.
The meeting will be chaired by Hee-Beom Lee, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea. A Joint Ministerial News Conference will be held at the conclusion of the meeting that will be webcast via the APEC website: www.apec.org
The Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining will be held the day following the 7th APEC Energy Ministers' Meeting which will be held on October 19 in Gyeongju, Korea.
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