MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Venezuelan Chamber of Mines issues formal statement

Published by MAC on 2005-09-30

Venezuelan Chamber of Mines issues formal statement in support of government policy to regulate mining industry

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Venezuelan Chamber of Mines (CamiVen), representing the main public and private, national and foreign mining companies with operations and investments in Venezuela, has issued a statement in support of the government's move to regulate the country's mining industry.

Textually (in English translation) the statement reads:

CAMIVEN agrees with the National Executive on the necessity to review the granted mining rights in Guayana, especially those that are inactive or have been abandoned.

The companies (which are) members of CAMIVEN are active and in different development stages of their mining rights. Our mining companies comply with their legal, environmental and taxation obligations.

Additionally; they apply criteria and national and international norms that are environmentally sustainable and of social inclusion in its operations and activities.

The positive result of the social and environmental involvement of the mining companies was presented at the 9th Mining Working Meeting on September 15 in Caracas.

Certainly, a significant number of areas with mining rights in Guayana are inactive; many of them by not having environmental authorizations, some of them maintained by government companies, others because they are located in reserved areas and others by simple abandonment.

These areas must be renewed, their use defined and have them submitted to a clear legal and operative regime with the objective of having them developed.

CAMIVEN supports the creation of a state mining company as a motor to develop the Guayana mining sector, which provides technological, financial and environmental assistance to the small scale mining and builds and operates the infrastructure for processing the ore produced by this sector, assuring taxation payments, the mitigation and environmental recovery and the fulfillment of applicable norms.

The small-scale mining activity of the region has been seen as benefited with the assignment of an important number of areas that total tens of thousands of hectares, in which there is a need for government and private company support to consolidate these mining exploitations with investment, technology and environmental impact mitigations measures.

The idea would be that that the small-scale mining activity becomes industrialized at a small scale and that is maintained through more rational exploitation and with better recovery technologies, instead of continuing to demand more areas from the government to work to replace prematurely exhausted ore deposits.

Private industry -- formal and integral -- gold and diamond mining in Guayana, affiliated with CAMIVEN, currently employs more than 3,000 people directly and several times that number, indirectly. This, together with more than 800 people employed directly by the Bolivar State, constitutes the main industry and the main formal employer outside Ciudad Guayana (Puerto Ordaz plus San Felix), thus benefiting more than 50,000 people in the south of Bolivar State.

CAMIVEN considers that the new government policy for the (mining) sector could be beneficial for Guayana and its people, and equally for the rest of the country.

The policy must be sustained through the natural convergence of public and private investment with respect to existing mining rights and with measures to promote and motivate investment, transfer of technology and the creation of down stream applications for mineral products; all within the criteria of social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

CAMIVEN and its company-members are ready to assume such a commitment jointly with the government and the rest of the productive factors.

Caracas, September 22, 2005

The Venezuelan Chamber of Mines (CAMIVEN), is a non-governmental non-profit organization promoting the development of the Venezuelan mining sector to the highest standards of Social Responsibility.

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