Shares of Gold Reserve Inc. (GRZ:US) rose the most in 14 years after it said the Venezuelan government approved construction of its Las Brisas project. Crystallex International Corp., which is seeking a permit for a nearby mine, also surged.
Gold Reserve jumped $2.20, or 50 percent, to $6.60 at 4:25 p.m. on the American Stock Exchange, after rallying as much as 60 percent, the biggest gain since November 1992. Crystallex, whose Las Cristinas gold project is beside Las Brisas and awaiting government approval, surged 98 cents, or 28 percent, to C$4.50 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Environment has approved the Brisas environmental and social impact assessment, and issued a construction permit for the exploitation and processing of gold and copper mineralization, Spokane, Washington-based Gold Reserve said today in a statement.
The speculation is that ``because their next-door neighbor received this formal approval, the environmental permit, that Crystallex's permit will be imminent,'' said Catherine Gignac, an analyst at Wellington West Capital Markets Inc. in Toronto, who has a strong buy rating on Crystallex and doesn't own shares in either company.
The projects account for almost all of the companies' respective net asset values, Gignac said. Toronto-based Crystallex Chief Executive Officer Gordon Thompson and spokesman Richard Marshall could not be reached immediately for comment.
``This approval is a major milestone and will result in immediate actions to commence our construction activities,'' Gold Reserve President A. Douglas Belanger said in the statement.
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