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Venezuela to give gold projects to finance regions

Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has said he will assign a gold mine to each state government to finance their budgets, with the promise of more to come to those which best administer their resources.
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Venezuelan president Nicols Maduro

"I am going to proceed to deliver a gold mine … in full productive capacity, to each government, for the production of resources in convertible currency, for our people," he said during a television broadcast from the Miraflores presidential palace in capital Caracas.

Maduro provided no detail about how the state governments would continue to develop the mines or how they would commercialise gold produced.

The four states which elected opposition candidates­—Nueva Esparta, Mérida, Táchira and Anzoátegui—will not be assigned mines.

Venezuela expropriated several gold mines from Canadian-listed companies in the past and informal gold mining is widespread. No information about which mines will be handed over has been given.

The economic situation in Venezuela has become dire due to government policies which have resulted in a lack of investment in the natural resource sector, combined with reduced income from falling oil prices and economic sanctions. The economic situation has resulted in millions of Venezuelans fleeing the country.