South Africa and Venezuela have reportedly signed an agreement on the setting up of joint ventures in mining, particularly diamonds, in Orinoco Mining, south Venezuela.
The work area was said to cover 10,000 hectares and it holds about 40 million carats of diamonds.
Diamond Loupe, citing El Universal, reports that South African deputy minister of mineral resources, Godfrey Oliphant, and his Venezuelan counterpart, Víctor Cano, signed the agreement, with a focus on environmentally friendly technology.
Meanwhile, Venezuela's Minister for ecological mining development, Jorge Arreaza thanked South Africa for helping the South American country end its eight-year absence from the Kimberley Process.
"South Africa has also been very supportive of Venezuela's reincorporation into the Kimberley Process,” he was quoted as saying.
“Thanks to them, we are here today to develop joint diamond projects, projects where the Venezuelan state maintains a sovereign majority of the shares of joint ventures or strategic alliances."
Venezuela rejoined the Kimberley Process last November after it stopped issuing export certificates in 2005 and unilaterally removed itself three years later as an active participant in the diamond watchdog.
It exported 23,472 carats of rough worth $882,130 in 2005, according to KP data.