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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 - Buy Gold - Bringing you trusted gold news and gold investing information since 2006

Venezuelan Gold Production Drops By 60%

Venezuelan gold production fell significantly last year, at only 1.7 tonnes (60,000 ounces) compared to its 4 tonne (141,000 ounces) target, state-run gold miner Minerven say.

As a result of the plummeting production, Minerven is now said to seek a government bailout of US$70 million, by some said to be the latest example of trouble affecting the OPEC nation’s public sector.

Minerven president, Luis Herrera, on Wednesday said in a government newspaper “We are talking to the Central Bank to activate operations because with both private and public banks it has been difficult to get hold of financing.”

Herrera also told the Correo del Orinoco newspaper “The process of sorting the plants has affected gold production, which has fallen by half.” At present, Minerven’s output is between 100 and 200 kg per month. This compares to the record monthly outputs of between 300 and 400 kg.

Although Socialist President Hugo Chavez has promised to expand the industry by developing gold deposits in the jungles south of the Orinoco River, not much has come out of the proposed plans that were to use Russian and Chinese capital to back the expansion.

Herrera said that Minerven is seeking a US$300 million loan to support an expansion of production to 8 tonnes (280,000 ounces). According to Herrera, an unnamed Chinese company has expressed interest in building a processing plant for the project.

Currently there is only one other large-scale gold miner in Venezuela, the Russian-Canadian Rusoro. Last year they produced 100,000 ounces.

The country is also battling an invasion of illegal miners who have arrived in the face of record gold prices, tearing up pristine jungles and polluting rivers in southern Venezuela with their high-powered hoses and mercury. It is estimated that illegal mining accounted for some 10 tonnes (350,000 ounces) or gold extracted last year.

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