Venezuela Sees Savior in Gold as Country Fights to Avoid Default

by Nathan Crooks and Noris Soto

Venezuela is planning to move fast with a new mining joint venture announced this week with Spokane, Washington-based Gold Reserve Inc. and will start extracting the precious metal within six months, according to central bank President Nelson Merentes.

The government will have a 55 percent to 60 percent stake in the new venture, while Gold Reserve and partners from the U.S., Germany and Canada will control 40 percent to 45 percent, Merentes said Friday in an interview in his office in Caracas, adding that the consortium will be incorporated within a month.

“The venture involves the largest gold producer in the world and the largest copper producer,” Merentes said, declining to name the companies that will join the project with Gold Reserve.

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