Mining firms that exploit Venezuela's gold deposits must sell all that they extract to the state under a new law that went into effect on Monday.
The decree, signed by President Hugo Chavez last month, states that private companies are still allowed to participate in mining, but as minority partners in joint ventures with the government.
The state is to have a 55 per cent stake in each of the joint ventures and it will also receive 13 per cent royalties under the terms laid out in the law.
The law took effect with its publication in the Official Gazette.
It says all gold mined in the country must be sold and turned over to the United Socialist Party-led government.
There was no immediate reaction from Rusoro Mining Ltd, the one company with significant mining operations under way in Venezuela.
The law also aims to fight rampant illegal mining by privateers in the forests of southern Venezuela.
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