Venezuela signed four agreements to boost development of Mining Arch


Caracas, 25 Feb. AVN.- Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro signed Wednesday three decrees with international companies to boost the quantification and certification of mineral reserves of gold, coltan and diamonds located in Arco Minero del Orinoco (Mining Arch), "in order to have a starting point for mining exploitation," and promote the development of this area that covers 111,000 square kilometers at the south of the Orinoco river in Bolivar state (Venezuela's south).

The agreement was signed during a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV), in Caracas, attended by representatives of 150 national and international companies. With this activity, President activated the Mining Engine and declared the Mining Arch of Orinoco a National Strategic Development Zone.

The President explained that this area consists of four blocks for exploration and exploitation: area 1 of 24,717 km2 where coltan and diamond dominate; area 2 of 17,246 km2 rich in non-metallic minerals and alluvial gold; Area 3 of Aro River along the east boundary of Mining Arch, with 29,730 km2 where iron and bauxite predominate; and area 4, which covers the place known as Sierra de Imataca of the Mining Arch of Orinoco.

To promote the development of these areas, the Venezuelan government signed two agreements with China, one with company China CAMC Engineering Co., Ltd, that will be working on area 1, while the second was signed with the company Yankuang Group, which will engage in gold exploration and exploitation in area 4.

Also, it was signed an agreement with a mining company of the Republic of Congo, which operates in the area 1 and 4.

JV with Canada

During Wednesday's ceremony, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Venezuela and Canadian mining company Gold Reserve, to set up a joint venture to explore and exploit gold and other minerals.

In this joint venture, Venezuela will have a 55 percent stake, while the Canadian consortium will own the remaining 45 percent.

President Maduro said that this project involves an investment of over 5 billion dollars in a win-win relationship.

Minister of Oil and Mining Eulogio Del Pino said that the agreement calls for spending 2 billion dollars for gold mining, 2 billion dollars in loans for the country as well as resources necessary to get the joint venture up and running.

He stressed that "the MOU puts an end to a legal complaint Gold Reserve presented to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), because with this document we reached a final settlement of that dispute, and show responsibility that characterizes Venezuela before international investors."

25/02/2016 - 06:04 pm