Venezuela and China signed an agreement to develop the Las Cristinas gold project, this week. In total, CITIC, China’s largest conglomerate, will invest $40 billion in housing, petroleum and minerals in Venezuela.
At least $10 billion of this will be set aside to build the Las Cristinas gold mine, and to facilitate the mapping of Venezuela’s natural resources. With 17 million ounces of gold, this is one of the largest gold deposits that exists. A while ago, Chavez brought the Venezuelan gold reserves from London to the country under great publicity, and we can therefore expect that production from Las Cristinas will not hit the international markets, but be added to the national bullion reserves.
Nothing is entirely free, however. In exchange for this generous contribution from CITIC, China expects delivery of 1 million barrels of oil per day, as of 2015. China is continuing its strategy of using its excess dollar reserves to acquire much needed natural resources that are crucial for the further development of China.