Caracas, Venezuela — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 September 2009 – Venezuela has announced that seven African nations are to join the South American country in forming a cross-continental mining corporation intended to give poor nations greater control of developing their resources.
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez proposed the multi-state corporation at a weekend summit of South American and African (ASA) nations, and state media have subsequently confirmed that Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Angola and Tanzania signed letters of intent to create the ASA Mining Corporation with an initial focus on iron.
“This alliance foresees the formation of joint ventures for exploration, geological prospecting, production and installation of small plants to process iron into steel,” reports Venezuela’s official news agency ABN.
Venezuelan mining minister Rodolfo Sanz said the South American steel-producing nation would send technical teams within 30 days to Mauritania and Tanzania. “We are going to help those countries calculate their reserves so that they know what they really have underground,” he said.
Reuters reports that the summit was dominated by grand proposals for South America-Africa cooperation, and calls for poor nations to unite against the economic dominance of the West.
Analysts say, however, that the Venezuelan government has a track record of failing to carry through some of the international initiatives that it enthusiastically announces across many sectors.