The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which energy editor Joel South and consumer goods editor and analyst Austin Smith discuss topics across the investing world.

Today, Joel and Austin talk about a potential devastating development in the world's largest copper producing nation, Chile. Infrastructure, particularly energy production, is in shambles, and the production capacity will need to double by 2012. This is extremely alarming for any mining company with significant assets invested in the region.

Giants like Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have billions already invested, and that's only a portion of the cash planning on being invested in the country. Not only can this energy shortage make capital budgeting issues impossible for mining companies, but the potential decrease in copper output could send metal prices through the roof. Joel and Austin discuss the players involved and potential solutions to this pressing issue.

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Austin Smith and Joel South have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.