Australia’s investment in Latin American mining sector is expected to be as much as A$150bn ($145bn) over the coming ten years.

Speaking at a conference in Sydney, Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr said that at present, nearly 80 Australian mining firms have made investments in about 200 projects in Latin American region.

"Australian mining investment in Latin America has arguably been light years ahead of a more general link between our continents, and its growing fast," the minister said.

"From Australia’s perspective, Latin America is a region of vast potential on the rise – our mining industry has shown it understands that as clearly as any industry," Carr noted.

Peru, Chile, Brazil and Colombia are among the Latin American countries which attracted Australian mining investments.