New twist in Imataca saga: low gold prices


Placer Dome’s recent decision to halt its mining operations in Venezuela’s Imataca Forest Reserve has added a new wrinkle to debate here about mineral extraction in this resource-rich region south of the Orinoco River. The mining company cited plunging world gold prices in its decision, announced July 15. The about-face came only months after Placer Dome had started up open-cast gold mining in the 9,900-acre (4,000-hectare) concession, which contains 11.8 million ounces in proven deposits. The market slide may temporarily prevent other companies from seeking or exploiting concessions. That, in turn, could create an opening for those trying to pressure the fledgling government of President Hugo Chávez to limit mining and other extractive industry in the environmentally significant Imataca region... [Log in to read more]

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