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The Guayana area in southeastern Venezuela has become the powerhouse behind Venezuela’s drive to industrialize and diversify its economy away from oil dependency.

The development of this region is in the hands of the Corporación Venezolana de Guayana (CVG), an autonomous state-owned entity created in 19660.  CVG oversees the mining operations for iron ore, bauxite, gold, zinc and other minerals, as well as the production of steel, primarily aluminum, electricity and cement in a region that covers almost half of Venezuela.

CVG is Venezuela’s second largest industrial group, after the oil sector in 1989, CVG exports, mostly aluminum, steel and iron ore, totaled 1.1 billion dollars.

Aluminum is the second largest export earner after petroleum and will assume even greater importance in upcoming years.  CVG anticipates increasing production from the current output of 600,000 metric tons to two million tons annually by the year 2000.

CVG-affiliates Alcasa and Venalum do most of Venezuela’s processing.  Venalum in the largest primary aluminum producer in the western world.

Aluminum production using imported raw materials began in 1968.  In 1977, bauxite, the key raw material, was found.  Bauxiven mines bauxite from the Pijiguaos region in south-central Venezuela, while the subsidiary Interalúmina prepares de bauxite to be processed by Alcasa and Venalum. Iron and Steel activities in Guayana are run by the three CVG’s  companies. 

Venezuela’s gold potential is in excess of 8,000 tons, 5,000 of which are at surface level, suitable for open cut mining. This potential represents about 12% of the world’s proven reserves.  

CVG companies are in charge of gold development, research for joint ventures in large-scale projects and organization of the 15,000 active prospectors in the region who are responsible for undeclared gold production estimated to be double the declares production figures.

Venezuela’s impressive hydroelectric capacity is based in Guayana.  The enormous Guri Dam supplies 70% of Venezuela’s electricity and saves 3000,000 barrels of oil a day.  



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