Venezuela’s National Assembly Mining Subcommittee Chairman told miners this week that only concessions pertaining to inactive mining contracts will be voided under the nation’s new mining law.
Quoted in Vheadline.com, National Assembly Deputy Jose Ramon Rivero told a group of miners that the new law will void those contracts that were issued by CVG up to 1999 and which should have been active. He added that concessions, for which a serious attempt has not been made to operate, will be voided since they constitute abandonment under the new law.
Rivero estimated that 1 million hectares of mining and exploration properties now assigned to exploration contracts are not actively being explored or developed.
Meanwhile, Mining Law Article 99 also stipulates that ”current mining concessions will still remain into effect until they reach their expiry dates.” The legislation also defines what the Executive Branch considers to be an ”active mining concession.” .
Among the foreign mining companies now holding active mining concessions in Venezuela are Hecla Mining, Canadian junior mining Crystallex’s Las Cristinas project, Gold Reserve and South African miner Gold Fields.
Vheadline reported that a number of miners from various municipalities gathered at Plaza Bolivar in Tueremo asking someone to address media reports suggesting that the project to void concessions is an attempt to lead the Venezuela mining industry towards joint venture partnerships between state and mining companies.