MAC/20: Mines and Communities

VENEZUELA

Published by MAC on 2007-02-26

VENEZUELA

Mining reform bill covered by new "enabling law"

BN Americas

26th February 2007

Venezuela's mining reform bill has been included in the newly passed "enabling law" granted to President Hugo Chávez by the national assembly (AN), deputy mining minister Iván Hernández told BNamericas.

The enabling bill allows Chávez to rule by decree in a broad range of areas for 18 months, effectively bypassing the legislature, which could hasten approval of the new mining bill.

In June 2006, Venezuela's AN approved the reform bill and launched a series of consultations with the academic sector, mining companies and indigenous and environmental groups.

"Right now they are registering the different talking points for the reform bill discussion which will be conducted according to the mechanisms determined by the AN and specifically by the legislative committee selected by President Chávez via the enabling bill," Hernández said.

Last weekend, the second annual mining congress was held in Bolívar state's Tumeremo city, where small-scale miners made suggestions for the reform bill, he said.

During the first quarter, the AN intends to have wrapped up the consultation phase so as to approve the bill.

By Harvey Beltrán
Business News Americas

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