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Venezuela to Take Over Anglo American Nickel Concession

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuela will take control of a nickel concession operated by Anglo American Plc when it expires tomorrow, said an official from the Oil and Mines Ministry.

The official briefed on the matter, who isn’t authorized to speak publicly, responded to questions today by e-mail.

Concessions and permits for the London-based company’s Minera Loma de Niquel expire tomorrow, Claudia D’amato, a Sao Paulo-based spokeswoman for Anglo American, said today in a telephone interview. The operation accounted for 13,400 metric tons of Anglo’s 29,100 tons of nickel production last year.

“We will provide an update regarding Loma when appropriate,” she said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Venezuela had already canceled 13 Loma de Niquel concessions and three remaning concessions are due to expire on Nov. 10, the company said in a production report on Oct. 25. Production at the mine was halted in September, according to the report.

“If there is no development in this situation in the coming weeks, then there will be no further production contribution from this operation,” the company said.

The mine’s proved and probable ore reserves totaled 4.6 million metric tons at the end of 2011, Anglo American said in last year’s annual report, adding that it took an $84 million charge “mainly arising” from the Venezuelan concessions.

Anglo American has a 91.4 percent stake in Loma de Niquel, the company said in the report.

The company’s shares fell 1 percent to 1,866 pence at the close in London.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nathan Crooks in Caracas at ncrooks@bloomberg.net; Corina Pons in Caracas at crpons@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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