Venezuela's environment minister Yubiri Ortega has announced that the country will hold firm on its decisions to restrict gold mining in the Latin American country.
In a move which could affect international gold prices, Ms Ortega said that mining will be forbidden in the Imataca Forest Reserve, home to two of the world's largest gold concessions, attests the Associated Press.
The reserve covers some 8.6 million acres and is home to unique plant and animal species.
Ms Ortega said that the decision was made because foreign companies and illegal mining in the past have exploited the country and "left only garbage behind".
Crystallex, the company which had been hoping to open mines in the area, is expected to appeal against the government's decision.
This news comes amid a continuing trend of falling gold output worldwide. Earlier this week, it was announced that the amount produced in Australia in the past year has fallen by seven per cent.
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