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In November, 1986, the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy held the 'Mining Latin AmericalMineria Latinoamericana' conference in Chile - a conference covering a broad range of topics relevant to South America and, in that sense, complementary to its regional 'Asian Mining' and 'African Mining' series of events. This first conference proved to be a resounding success and confirmed that Chile, in particular, and South America, in general, were indeed ideal for the Institution in the pursuit of its objective of disseminating information related to the international minerals industry. In relation to South America, the Chilean conference was followed, in 1988, by that entitled 'Silver - exploration, mining and treatment', * which was held in Mexico City; in February, 1995, Caracas will host the 'Mineral resources of VenezuelalRecursos minerales de Venezuela' conference, serious planning for which is under way as I write. The Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, in association with the Instituto de Ingenieros de Minas de Chile, Mineria Chilena and Latinomineria agreed that the second 'Mining Latin AmericalMineria Latinoamerica' conference should be held, again in Santiago, in May, 1994, on the occasion of the 1994 Expomin show, which had been been particularly successful in attracting visitors from mining countries worldwide in 1992 and which will continue, at two-yearly intervals, to the year 2000 and, no doubt, beyond.