The Chair of the Third APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining Meeting (MRM3), the Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP, held a media briefing at the start of the meeting in Perth today.

Mr. Macfarlane, who is Australia's Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, gave journalists greater perspective on where the meeting fits into the APEC Australia 2007 schedule, anticipated achievements of the meeting and the relevance of hosting the APEC Mining Ministers' Meeting in Western Australia.

The meeting is taking place on February 12 to 16 under the theme of "Improving leading practice sustainable development in mining."

The program involves business sector and NGO interaction with ministers as well as opportunities for bilateral meetings between Member Economies.

The APEC region includes the world's largest producers and consumers of minerals and accounts for more than 70% of global consumption of coal, iron ore and tin.

(Audio only)