Rusoro foresees Venezuela gold export rule change | Metals & Mining | Reuters

Rusoro foresees Venezuela gold export rule change

Thu Aug 5, 2010 10:36pm GMT

* Russian-Canadian company says gov’t has agreed to change
* Firms would be able to export 50 percent of gold output
CARACAS Aug 5 (Reuters) – Russian-Canadian miner Rusoro (RML.V) said on Thursday it expects the Venezuelan government to ease a restriction on gold exports to allow private firms to sell up to 50 percent of output abroad.
Current rules allow only 30 percent exports, with the rest to be sold in-country, mainly to the Central Bank.
“A fair agreement has been reached between the government and the mining industry to allow 50 percent of output to be sold to the Central Bank and the other 50 percent exported,” said Rusoro’s local operations director Andrea Padovani.
Central Bank officials could not confirm.
Rusoro’s Padovani said, however, the new norm should be published in coming days in the government’s Official Gazette.
“After a meeting with the Central Bank president, Nelson Merentes, we were told that the norm had been approved by the directors and all that was needed was President Hugo Chavez’s signature,” Padovani told Reuters.
Rusoro had warned earlier this year that it may cut a $200 million investment plan in Venezuela unless the export regulations were changed.
Rusoro’s main interest is the Choco 10 gold mine in the southern state of Bolivar.
Rusoro’s production from Choco in the first quarter was 25,142 ounces, 34 percent less than the same period last year. The company blames Venezuela’s currency distortions for that, saying it has been hard to import machinery and materials.
It expects to produce nearly 100,000 ounces this year, down from 125,741 last year. But Rusoro foresees higher production of 184,725 ounces in 2011.
(Reporting by Diego Ore, Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
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