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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gold Occurrences in Nicaragua


Coat of Arms of Nicaragua


Nicaragua is the largest country in the isthmus of Central America, and the second largest country in Central America after Hondas.  Like the rest of Central America the country is amply endowed with gold and other minerals.  The country is often referred to as the land of lakes and volcanoes.  The presence of so many volcanoes is a sure sign that gold can be found throughout the country as both placer and lode deposits.  A line of volcanoes runs from north to south; some of them are extinct and others are active.  There are volcanoes having huge smoking mouths while others were blown away by violent eruptions leaving behind lakes that now occupy their calderas.

Gold mining is not an especially important component of Nicaragua’s economy although there are a few mines that have been producing gold since the 1940s.  This producer id the Limon Mine belonging to Glencairn Gold Corporation.  During a recent year this mine produced about 48,000 ounces of gold.  Altogether this mine has produced approximately 2.7 million ounces of gold in the period from 1941 and ending in 1979.  This was during the period when the mine was under the control of Noranda, a Canadian Mining Company.  The property is still in production.

A recent discovery of epithermal gold has been made in the southeastern part of the country by Nuevo Guinea a project of Radius Gold.  This is in an area of rolling farmland that is served by good roads from Managua making the extraction of gold an easy process.  More work by Radius on its 100% owned San Pedro discovery that is about 200 km west of Managua in an area of epithermal quartz veins located anomalous high readings of gold in stream sediments that has returned values that range from a trace ti as high as 6.8 g/t of gold.  There are several other occurrences of gold in Nicaragua that are undergoing exploration.  Some of these projects are the El Pavon, Rio Luna, El Limon, La Libertad and La India.

Nicaragua like most of the rest of Central America has been built up from a subduction zone that lies just off the west coast of the area.  It most probably began as an island arc with the islands through volcanic action becoming one continuous strip of land.  It was this volcanic action that caused the gold to be deposited in epithermal deposits.  Many times the hot gold bearing water found a place to be deposited in fault and shear zones.  Many of these deposits are apt to be traced over kilometers in length and width.

At one point in the development of the area the subduction zone split giving rise to the Caribbean Islands that in the more recent Lesser Antilles are mainly volcanic, the Greater Antilles are all known to be gold bearing, but it must be remembered these islands share a common ancestry with Central America.

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