Govt Begins Evaluation Of Mining CompaniesPublished by MAC on 2007-05-24
Govt begins evaluation of mining companies
24th May 2007
Venezuela's basic industries and mining ministry Mibam announced it has begun the first stage of a program to evaluate private and state-owned miners in which companies will submit reports and production plans. For one month, more than 30 companies will appear before the ministry to explain production procedures, reserves, investment projects and other proposals related to their activities, deputy mining minister Iván Hernández said in a Mibam statement.
The goal of the initiative is to strengthen and develop policies that allow mining to become the second most productive industry in Venezuela after oil, the statement said. Among the companies required to present reports in this first stage are state gold miner Minerven, Hecla Mining subsidiary Minera Hecla Venezolana, Minera Loma de Níquel owned by US company Drummond (*), Carbones de la Guajira, Promotora Minera Guayana, and Carbones del Suroeste, among others, the report said. The program's second phase will begin in July or August and looks to evaluate the mining projects put forth by different public and private organizations throughout the country.
"Some of the big projects that we will study closely in the second phase deal with gold and diamond mining in Bolívar state, as well as others for metallic and non-metallic mining in different regions of Venezuela," Hernández said. Gold projects in Bolívar state include Las Brisas, owned by US company Gold Reserve and Las Cristinas, owned by Canada's Crystallex International. Hecla also operates in Bolívar at the Mina Isidora gold mine. After reviewing mining plans, Mibam will audit each of the companies to verify the information presented, the report said.
* Note: In fact Loma de Niquel is operated by Anglo American; Drummond (notorious across the border in Colombia) has nothing to do with this mine.