Venezuela has made a payment to a mining company using government bonds instead of cash, potentially the first time it has done so since U.S. sanctions last year barred similar transactions.

The payment on Tuesday was made as creditors scramble to move in on the remaining assets of a country that is already in widespread default and enmeshed in an economic crisis. Last week a U.S. court ruled that a creditor could seize Venezuela’s biggest U.S. asset, Citgo Petroleum Corp., causing alarm among bondholders who fear collection efforts could disadvantage them.

Gold Reserve Inc., GDRZF, -3.45% a miner incorporated in Canada and headquartered in Spokane, Wash., said in a statement that it had received Venezuelan government bonds with an estimated market value of around $88.5 million. The payment was made as part of a settlement agreement that calls for the Venezuelan government to pay it around $1 billion related to a mining project in the country. Venezuela’s government debt is currently trading at between 20 and 30 cents on the dollar.

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