Venezuela lays claim to Guyana-based gold mine, border frictions continue
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Venezuela lays claim to Guyana-based gold mine, border frictions continue

Guyana’s president says Venezuela is inflaming a border dispute over land home to one of South America’s largest gold mines.

President David Granger Venezuela sent a letter to Toronto-based Guyana Goldfields warning it could face legal consequences for operating on land claimed by the country. Granger accused Venezuela of trying to scare away foreign investors from Guyana.

The mine is one of Guyana’s biggest investment projects. It employs 500 workers and is expected to produce 3 million ounces of gold in about 17 years.

Guyana Goldfields is an emerging gold producer with the onset of its Aurora Gold Mine and has been exploring and developing in Guyana since 1996.

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The Venezuela-Guyana border dispute was resolved and agreed upon by both countries under the 1899 Arbitration Agreement. Venezuela’s current border claim is widely regarded to be a violation of international law.

The South American nation has long claimed 40 percent of Guyana’s territory and extended its maritime claims this year after oil was discovered in disputed waters. The U.N. is currently mediating the dispute.

Guyana responded by adding that any attempt by Venezuela to enforce its claims will be “vigorously resisted” and brought to the attention of the international community.