CITIC Mining Survey Agreement With Venezuela: Another Boondoggle?

November 29, 2013

mapMaps of camps for mining projects

A while back, the Venezuelan Government signed a puzzling agreement with Chinese company CITIC to do a mining survey of all of Venezuela. Puzzling for a variety of reasons, including the fact that CITIC is at the end of the day an investment company, which was simply going to use the resources of the Chinese Government and academia to develop the project. But it was also puzzling, because of the price tag of US$ 600 million. US$ 600 million is an Apollo-size project in the context of Venezuelan science and technology, more so, for something that has essentially been done already, without the aid of the Chinese or the Americans for that matter. In fact, CVG, Tecmin, National Universities and the National Institute for Geology and Mining already have a digitized database. In the 80’s, when I used to work in related fields, I recall being given maps of where you could find Niobium and Tantalum in Venezuela, not exactly the most precious of minerals.

But even more puzzling is that the National Assembly has not approved the contract. You see, minerals and mining are considered to be of public utility and according to that piece of paper called the Constitution, contracts relating to it have to be approved by the National Assembly. But even more puzzling, the job that Citic was hired to do, is the mandate for the National Institute of Geology and Mining, Ingeomin, which according to the law has as on of its main purposes: “To create and maintain the inventory of the mineral resources of the country” among many other functions. And US$ 600 million is over 100 times the yearly budget of Ingeomin, which has yet to be contacted for the project.

And that is the biggest puzzle. The project supposedly has been mostly paid for. the work should have been started, Venezuelans trained, etc. But nobody has been trained, no camps as those shown in the map above (Xeroxed in a copy machine with a bent surfaced?) have been established. In fact, according to Deputy Americo de Grazia “The Chinese are doing absolutely nothing in Venezuela…but they are getting paid”

The Deputy even wonders if the Chinese ever meant to do anything, except get paid. With the available information and the digitized maps available in Venezuela and a couple of trips by technicians, you could “update” the information and that would be it. Hand it it, get paid US$ 600 million.

Another boondoggle by the revolution. More money thrown out the window, or down the toilet. Chavismo has a strange concept of sovereignty and a total lack of respect for local knowledge.

And, of course, the National Assembly refuses to hear the complaint that the contract should have been approved in that body. The Chinese may get mad…


15 Responses to “CITIC Mining Survey Agreement With Venezuela: Another Boondoggle?”

  1. […] Los Chinos y los Cubanos se están quedando con el país   Rafael Ramírez, ministro para el Petróleo y Minería, señaló en pase transmitido por Venezolana de Televisión que se ha firmado un acuerdo para elaborar un mapa minero de todos los recursos con los que cuenta el país. Está previsto que el mismo se haga en un plazo de cinco años y comprenderá la exploración, cuantificación y certificación de todas las reservas minerales de Venezuela. Fuente: El Universal, 23 deSeptiembre, 2012 Este acuerdo  no solo se firmó en abierta violación de las leyes venezolanas sino que representa otro insulto a la inteligencia y dignidad de los venezolanos, un mamotreto tipo Plan de la Patria, y un fraude/guiso colosal, a juzgar por el dinero que se le pagaría a los chinos, nada menos que 0 millones, segun denuncia Miguel Octavio, en su blog   . Ver:… […]

  2. gustavo Coronel Says:

    The first 60 pages of the report have been horribly translated. The spanish sounds ridiculous. The description of the work to be done is very detailed and not bad, about 200 pages,. Where did you see the cost would be $600 million? The report does not have a section on the financial terms. If so, it would be highway robbery.
    It should have started in October 2012.

  3. […] China + oil = deal CITIC Mining Survey Agreement With Venezuela: Another Boondoggle? […]

  4. Margarita Quevedo Says:

    Hi, Miguel Octavio<
    I know it is a different topic. I would like to know if it is a good time to buy Republic Venezuelan Bonds.

  5. Virginia Says:


  6. Its part of the document in the link

  7. HalfEmpty Says:

    I like that map. Have you a link to a larger version?

  8. PM Says:

    Could it be that they are looking for uranium? That would cost a lot of money to find. A professor once told me the last time they did a study on the possibility of finding uranium was in the early 80s..

    • NorskeDiv Says:

      It doesn’t really make sense, China has secure Uranium supplies and it isn’t usually that valuable to mine, even great Uranium deposits have pretty low concentrations. Any Uranium mined in Venezuela would be a bonus ontop of more conventional rare earth metals or something of the sort.

      Olympic dam in Australia produces more Uranium than any other mine and its a distant second thought to its primary output which is copper.

  9. Nebelwald Says:

    Somewhat OT but having to do with science. The Gaceta Oficial recently published the official list of pest species present in Venezuela. Since 2008 the law requires new pest species detected here to be reported to the government. Failure to do so is penalised by the law. The catch is one has to wait until the government corroborates or determines the reported species is a pest. I know of at least 2 researchers (one who actually works for a government agency – INIA) that can not publish their research until they are given the green light by some government agency or office of some understaffed government agency run by people hired for their “politically correct views”. Precious.

  10. TV Says:

    It’s just looting.

  11. syd Says:

    “…but they are getting paid” or “… but they’ve been paid.”

    Or, ” .. but they’ve received a promissory note for future payment.”

    Whatever the case, this is something that needs more digging. I hope you can shed more light on this, Miguel. It’s worthwhile.

  12. extorres Says:

    surveys via satellite will be the excuse…

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