Rusoro's gold production slumps after nationalization
Ending 2011, the industry recorded net losses for USD 780.1 million
The Venezuelan State takeover of the operations of gold company Rusoro caused the production to plummet, according to company workers.
The Russian-Canadian company announced last Wednesday that it had made an application for arbitration at the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes (Icsid) of the World Bank, for failure to arrive at an amicable arrangement following the nationalization of the sector.
From the issue of Decree 8,413 that reserves to the State gold exploration and exploitation, as well as related and ancillary operations, Rusoro was set a 90-day deadline to migrate to the scheme of joint venture. The term was extended for additional 90 days. However, in the meantime, workers warned that the company was gradually leaving the operations. Last May, an operating executive committee took over the company under the patronage of state owned General Mining Company Minerven.
Nonetheless, the State control has not prevented the fall. Rusoro "is operationally doing bad, everything was transferred to Minerven and it (Rusoro) has gone downhill. It is producing not even 40% of the installed capacity; it operates for one week and stops for 15 days," complained a company worker, preferring not to be identified by name.
The very early morning after the presidential election (April 15), both candidates requested the National Electoral Council (CNE) to conduct a full audit of the process: one, Henrique Capriles, because he asserts that the election results are different from the ones announced, and the other one, Nicolás Maduro, in order to clear any doubt regarding his victory, and to reinforce his political stance. Nevertheless, as it is already known, President Maduro changed his mind.