Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

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Venezuela accounts for 2% of the world’s supply of minerals, mainly iron, coal, bauxite, phosphate and limestone. The country’s vast and largely untouched reserves make up a treasure house of opportunities for new players interested in mining or other stages in the production chain.

The sector is reserved for direct extraction by the government, although private capital may participate through concessions or in the form of small-scale mining and cooperatives. Changes in the financial and legal frameworks in recent years have improved conditions for investors, a situation that has attracted large companies such as Placer Dome, Anglo American and Ruhr-Kohle.

Growth in large economies such as China, India and Japan, all hungry for raw materials, has helped improve world prices for iron, steel and gold. This means greater opportunities for production with higher value added, backed by figures such as those listed below:

• Year-to-year growth in steel production is 1.4% (1997-2003)

• Raw material accounts for 85% of total production (1997-2003)

• Average installed capacity of 45% (1996-2003)

The steel industry has what is needed to become one of the country’s most competitive economic activities. It is estimated that Venezuela’s iron ore reserves total some 14.70 billion metric tons, of which only 18 million tons (0.12% of the total) are being extracted per year.

This production capacity has guaranteed access to major markets thanks to the country’s infrastructure, which is above Latin American standards. Venezuela has one of the largest road networks in the region, a total of 96,155 km, of which 32,308 km are paved.

Venezuela has 13 sea ports and 369 airports, in addition to 7,100 km of navigable waterways, including the Orinoco River and Lake Maracaibo, both of which are deep enough for large vessels.

Simon Bolivar

Liberator of Venezuela
Statistics on Confiscations
and Detainees at Venezuelan

2002 - 2006 (PDF)

Drugs Fighting