Suriname lawmakers approve Newmont gold mining deal

Sat Jun 8, 2013 2:31pm EDT
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CARACAS, June 8 (Reuters) - Suriname's National Assembly has approved a mineral agreement with U.S.-based Newmont Mining Corp and Alcoa Worldwide Alumina to develop the South American country's Merian Gold Project.

The agreement covers 25 years and the government will get 6 percent royalty, to be paid in gold, lawmakers said after agreeing the bill late on Friday. Merian is about 40 miles (66 km) south of the town of Moengo and 19 miles (30 km) north of the Nassau Mountains.

The deal was reached a day after the government and another gold miner, Canada's Iamgold Corp, signed an agreement to expand Suriname's Rosebel gold mine and extend a partnership to develop it until 2042.

A sparsely populated former Dutch colony on the northeast shoulder of South America, Suriname produces gold and bauxite, which dominates the economy, and has a nascent oil industry.