Cosila awaiting official go-ahead for Carmelitas

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Venezuelan iron and steel company Cosila (Complejo Sidururgica del Lago) expects authorization within the next two months from the country's mines and energy ministry to proceed with the necessary infrastructure and equipment installations to develop its Las Carmelitas coal mine in northern Venezuela's Zulia state, a company spokesperson told BNamericas.

After that, the company must receive environmental approval from the environment ministry, and technical accreditation. All this is expected to mean that operations at Las Carmelitas will start in 2H03, the official said.

"The Zulia Development Corporation [Corpozulia] has concession permits over coal lots numbers 41 and 42, where operations have been mothballed for some time and are now being reactivated," the spokesperson said.

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Cosila is planning to invest approximately US$60mn in 15 years, together with North American, Australian and Italian investors. It plans to hit 1Mt production in the first 12 months of operations, and double that to 2Mt the following year. The

project will create 300 full time jobs.

Cosila first took out a mining lease on the property from Corpozulia in 1994.