Canada's Guyana Goldfields says notified of possible Venezuela claim

Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:29pm EDT
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By Neil Marks

GEORGETOWN Oct 23 (Reuters) - Canadian-based mining company Guyana Goldfields Inc has said it has received an "unfounded" notification of possible legal action by Venezuela over its operations in Guyana, a complaint linked to Venezuela's territorial claim over an area where it operates.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro this year revived his country's claim to more than half of neighboring Guyana's territory following an oil discovery off the coast of that area, part of a dispute Guyana says was resolved in 1899.

"Guyana Goldfields Inc. ... recently received an unfounded notification of a possible legal claim from Venezuela," the company said in a statement.

"The Venezuela-Guyana border dispute was resolved and agreed upon by all parties under the 1899 Arbitration Agreement and any claims made outside of such agreement violate international law."

A spokesman for the Toronto-based company said she was not able to provide a copy of the letter from Venezuelan authorities.

An official at Venezuela's foreign ministry said nobody was available to comment on the issue.

Guyana's official Government News Agency said on Thursday Venezuela's ambassador to Canada had issued a warning letter to the company informing them mining operation in Guyana was "infringing on the territorial sovereignty of Venezuela."

Addressing the subject in a speech to parliament, Guyanese President David Granger called for Venezuela to stop meddling.   Continued...