Carr to meet 17 African mining ministers

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr is to meet at least 17 African mining ministers, as Australian resources companies prepare to spend $40 billion on the continent.

Senator Carr will attend the Africa Down Under Conference in Perth, held between August 29 and 31.

Former foreign affairs minister Kevin Rudd addressed the conference by videolink last year.

Senator Carr said many successful Australian mining companies were investing in Africa.

"If they make money from good investments in Africa, and when I last saw figures there was $40 billion of Australian investment proposed for African mines, then they'll have more capital to invest in good projects back here," Senator Carr said.

Ministers from South Africa, Nigeria, Namibia, Niger, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Liberia and Botswana will be among those attending this year's conference.

Senator Carr said Africa's exports of oil, gas and minerals were worth more than nine times the money it received from foreign aid.

Senator Carr on Friday announced $4.9 million of aid funding for a technical advisory facility at the University of Western Australia's International Mining for Development Centre.

The facility aims to help developing countries to understand, negotiate and analyse complex financial, legal and environmental aspects of mining agreements.

"This represents an opportunity for developing countries to use their mining wealth to drive their future prosperity," Senator Carr said.

The centre plans to train 2000 people in the management of mineral resources by 2015.

Mr Rudd told last year's Africa Down Under conference that investment in Africa by Australian miners and explorers had reached more than $20 billion and more than 40 per cent of all overseas Australian mining projects were in Africa.

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