In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Venezuela To Nationalize Largest Gold Mine

Posted by seumasach on November 6, 2008

(RTTNews) – Venezuela’s left-leaning government has decided to nationalize Las Cristinas, the country’s largest gold mine, to boost the South American country’s foreign exchange reserves amid the global financial crisis, media reports said.

Rodolfo Sanz, mining minister, said Wednesday that the government will bring the mine, which is rich with gold, diamonds, iron and other minerals and owned by Canada’s Crystallex International Corp, under state control by the beginning of the next year.

“Due to the financial crisis that has extended throughout the world, it’s necessary to attempt to recover our gold to increase our international reserves,” he said. “This mine will be seized and managed by a state administration,” he added.

The proposed takeover is a part of leftist President Hugo Chavez’s socialist agenda that advocates nationalizing the country’s natural resources. Over the past year, he took over electricity, oil, steel-making, cement and telephone enterprises. The move also came ahead of thel November 23 elections for governors and mayors in which Chavez faces tough competition.

Crystallex issued a statement following the announcement saying they had “not been notified of any changes regarding the Las Cristinas Project or the Mine Operating Contract.” The company also said that its representatives met with Venezuelan officials Wednesday and that “no issues were raised with regard to the control of Las Cristinas.”

Chavez’s government clashed with other international gold-mining companies operating in the country in recent months as it pursues its pro-nationalization policies.

Las Cristinas, estimated to hold 16.9 million ounces of gold, in proven and potential reserves of the yellow metal, is located within the Imataca Forest Reserve in southeastern Bolivar state, which is also home to unique plant-and-animal species.

Environmentalists have raised concerns that major mining operations could cause irreversible damage to the area’s sensitive ecosystem.

One Response to “Venezuela To Nationalize Largest Gold Mine”

  1. John G. said

    VHGI Gold closes with record volume of 445,000 shares on 12/8 based on 8k news.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: