In parts of South America there has been wide conflict, particularly in Peru, where many people have been killed during public protests about mining.
Tensions have also been high in South Africa, where striking platinum miners have finally struck a wage deal, following five weeks of bloodhsed and unrest.
University of Queensland Professor David Brereton, who works with the Sustainable Minerals Institute, says he was approached by the Australian Ambassador in Peru to run the study tour to Mount Isa.
He says he hopes that by observing the relationship between Australian Aboriginals and mining companies, the South Americans will take lessons back to their home countries.
Seventeen representatives of government and Indigenous organisations from Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia arrived in Mount Isa on Sunday.
They visited an Indigenous training group near Camooweal called Myuma and also toured Xstrata’s copper operations in Mount Isa.
Follow the link to listen to the audio interview – ABC reporter Emma Cillekens with Professor Brereton, Fransisco Cevallos Paez from Ecuador and Yohannaliz Vega Auqui from Peru.
Source: ABC North West Queensland