UPDATE 2-Venezuela, Gold Reserve to settle arbitration dispute with joint venture
(Adds fresh quotes, details on deal, deposit)
By Alexandra Ulmer and Girish Gupta
CARACAS Feb 24 (Reuters) - Venezuela and Canadian mining company Gold Reserve signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday to settle a protracted arbitration dispute over a gold concession through creation of a joint venture in the South American country.
The deal would see Venezuela and Gold Reserve, which were embroiled in a dispute over the termination of the company's Las Brisas gold concession in 2009, jointly exploit the Brisas and Las Cristinas mines, President Nicolas Maduro said.
The deal's fine print was not immediately clear, although Venezuela said the deal would result in a $2 billion dollar loan for the crisis-hit country.
Gold Reserve's president, Doug Belanger, told Reuters that Venezuela would likely use the mining property as collateral to obtain financing.
The small Canadian miner will receive compensation as part of the deal, Belanger added, although declining to give estimates for compensation or investment.
"We're in agreement to settle. We will be receiving a payment," Belanger said after the signing ceremony in Caracas on Wednesday night, adding a final settlement was expected soon.