US slaps sanctions on state-owned Venezuelan gold company Minerven
By Guilherme Baida / Platts
Petroleumworld 03 20 2019
The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Tuesday imposed sanctions on state-owned Venezuelan gold miner and processor CVG Compania General de Mineria de Venezuela (Minerven).
Minerven President Adrian Antonio Perdomo Mata was also sanctioned, with OFAC citing "illicit" Venezuelan gold operations' role in propping up the "illegitimate" regime of President Nicolas Maduro. Mata was named President of Minerven in July 2018.
"As a result of today's action, all property and interests in property of this entity and individual, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50% or more by this entity and individual, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC," it said.
OFAC's regulations generally prohibit all dealings by US persons or within - or transiting - the US that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.
The sanctions were part of the Executive Order 13850.
"The illegitimate Maduro regime is pillaging the wealth of Venezuela while imperiling indigenous people by encroaching on protected areas and causing deforestation and habitat loss. Maduro's scheme to usurp the National Assembly's authority and strip Venezuela of natural resources has exposed local communities to dangerous toxins," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
"Treasury is targeting gold processor Minerven and [Mata] for propping up the inner circle of the corrupt Maduro regime. We will aggressively pursue those involved with Maduro's reckless illicit gold trade which is contributing to this financial, humanitarian, and environmental crisis," Mnuchin said.
"Maduro and regime insiders turned to gold mining as they sought new means by which to enrich themselves at the expense of the Venezuelan people. Without approval of the National Assembly, and without regard for the environment and local communities, Maduro awarded himself broad authorities to oversee the development of the Orinoco Mining Arc years ago," said OFAC.
Minerven is controlled by the Venezuelan Ministry of Popular Power of Oil and Mining, and was created for the purpose of mining and trading in non-ferrous metal ores, such as gold. As the sole state-owned gold processor in Venezuela, Minerven purchases gold from miners and melts it into bars.
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Story by Robert Perkins from Platts / SPGlobal.
spglobal.com 03 19 2019
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