Govt to look for new partner on Socuy coal mining project – Venezuela

Govt to look for new partner on Socuy coal mining project – Venezuela

Venezuela’s government plans to look for a new partner to create a joint venture to development the Socuy coal-mining project in the Mara area of Zulia state.

“Socuy is one of the concessions that is not currently producing, so we need to open a range of options for companies interested in entering a JV,” Josã© Ramã³n Rivero, president of the national assembly’s basic industries and mines sub-committee told BNamericas.

Socuy is currently being run by a JV between Brazilian resource conglomerate CVRD (NYSE: RIO) and Venezuelan state-owned Carbozulia. Within the framework of the mining reform being pushed by the Venezuelan government, the project would be subject to being returned to the state.

Since its creation in February 2005, the project has been paralyzed and is “awaiting the government’s decision to see if it will go ahead or not,” a Carbozulia official previously said.

This week the national assembly approved the mining reform bill presented by the national basic industries and mining ministry (Mibam), said Rivero, adding that it is necessary to update the concession with new partners – either domestic or foreign.

“For Socuy, they want to do exactly what the reform project proposes, which is to form a JV,” said Gilberto Sã¡nchez, president of Venezuela’s mining chamber (Camiven).

There is a similar proposal in place for the Las Carmelitas coal project belonging to Venezuelan iron and steel company Cosila, added the president.

Cosila is also located in North-Western Venezuela’s Zulia state.


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