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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gold Occurrences in Mexico

The Coat of Arms of Mexico

There is an old Mexican saying that it takes a silver mine to make a gold mine.  Mexico is blessed with an abundance of both metals.  My first introduction to Mexican gold was when a group of us tried to acquire the San Pedro Mine in San Luis de Potasi.  We couldn’t make a deal for this mine that had been worked since the time of the Aztecs, but it still contained around 12 million tons of low grade ore similar to that of the Carlin Trend in Nevada

Mexico is within the Cordilleras that go all the way from northern Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in southern Argentina.  Throughout these mountains there are abundant mineral deposits some of them have been worked since before the Americas were discovered by Columbus in 1492.  Exploration is still ongoing throughout the Cordilleras to this day with many gold and silver mines being developed.

The best description of mineral occurrences in Mexico including gold is that Mexico is a virtual treasure chest with an abundance of minerals hardly surpassed anywhere on earth.  Some of the mines in Mexico have been continuously worked for over 500 years.  In one place there is virtually a mountain of silver that has been worked since the days of the Aztecs or before.  In another place the workers in a mine stumbled upon a cavity in the rock where they discovered selenite crystals the size of tree trunks.  It is so hot in this cavity you have to wear air conditioned suits to enter.

Poughkite an ore of gold and selenium from the Monctzuma Mine in Mexico
Photo by Rob Lavinsky

There are two mountain ranges running for most of the length of the country named the Sierra Madre Oriental and Occidental with the Valley of Mexico between them.  In many places these mountains are volcanic in nature with the minerals found in them coming from the volcanism.

Lode deposits of gold and bedrock deposits of other minerals are abundant in Mexico, but that is not all.  Throughout Mexico there are many placer deposits of gold found in most of the rivers and streams, and because of the lack of glaciation there are also saprolitic deposits where the bedrock has been turned into clay leaving the lode deposits of gold and quartz behind in place waiting to be mined.

Many mining companies are actively exploring for more gold deposits in Mexico throughout the country, but there are also mines like the San Pedro Mine that has been worked since the days of the Aztecs.  The potential for finding gold and other valuable mineral deposits in Mexico remains very high.


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