Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that his government would nationalise the exploration and exploitation of gold and related activities, AVN said on August 17.
Chavez said: "I will soon propose an enabling law so as to begin taking control of the gold area and I expect you to support me, because anarchy rules in this zone, there are mafias, smuggling.
"This is a great wealth, one of the world’s largest. There is plenty of gold, precious stones, diamonds, bauxite and iron in Guyana.
"I have here the laws that allow the state taking control of the exploration, exploitation of gold and all related activities, that is to say we are going to nationalize the gold and we will transform them into international reserves, because it [gold] continues to increase its value."
Press TV reported on August 19 that, as part of the plan, the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) and finance ministry would gradually shift the country's gold reserves, valued at US$11 billion dollars, out of US, Canada, and Europe. The reserves would be shifted to the BCV
Press TV said up to $6.3 billion in liquid reserves will also be transferred to banks in China, Russia and Brazil.