NEW YORK (TheStreet ) -- Skyrocketing gold prices have captured the attention of the world's governments, and they're turning up the heat on the gold miners doing business within their borders."Ernst & Young had a report out on the mining industry," said NovaGold ( NG)'s chief executive officer Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, "and they identified the number one issue for the mining industry is nationalization, whether it's in bite sized pieces by taxing you to death ... or it's taking a bigger piece of the pie or the whole pie. They usually don't take the whole pie until you've invested your capital." The fears are warranted. Mongolia recently announced that it was thinking about increasing its stake in the Oyu Tolgoi project in South Gobi. Ivanhoe Mines, which is almost 50% owned by Rio Tinto ( RIO), owns 66% of the project and the government 34%. According to reports, the government might try to increase its share to 40% and will also target Peabody Energy ( BTU)'s Tavan Tolgoi coal project.
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