Venuzuela to nationalise its gold mining sector

Venezuela has signed a decree to formalise the nationalisation of its gold mining industry, which will give the government total control over the gold produced in the country.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez said that the repatriation of $11bn in the country's gold reserves, which are currently held in US and European banks, would begin within the next few weeks.

The government officials have contacted the representatives of Rusoro Mining to continue joint gold mining operations in Venezuela.

Rusoro produces gold both at an open-pit mine and an underground mine that is a joint venture with the government.

The government is also planning to move other international assets to buffer the country against economic woes in the US and European countries.

According to analysts, moving the Venezuelan reserves will make investors see the country as riskier, reports The Associated Press.