State-run China International Trust & Investment inked a deal with Venezuelan state officials Friday to develop Las Cristinas, Venezuela’s largest gold mine, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deal covers the building, engineering and processing of gold from the mine, which is estimated to contain 17 million ounces of the metal, in addition to some copper deposits. The amount of money involved in the deal was not disclosed. A separate agreement was also signed for the production of a map of South American mineral deposits. Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez said following a meeting with Chinese officials that the two countries agreed to cooperate more extensively in oil ventures. The two countries have recently stepped-up their trade exchanges, with the Venezuelan government using oil shipments, among other things, to pay for more than US$36 billion in Chinese loans.
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