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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gold Occurrences in Colombia

Plate tectonics found in Colombia.

It doesn’t happen very often, but Colombia was the subject of a whole section in Engineering and Mining Journal (E&MJ) all about the boom in minerals there.  Colombia is the northern terminus of the Andes Mountains that is also one of the last areas in the Andes to be explored for minerals.  Even the author is interested in the goings on in Colombia because his friend Nick is developing a mine that is located between the Pig Pen and the Old Man in the northern Andes.  We have been consulting on this mine for the past year and although it is beyond the range of the internet Nick gives us regular reports on his progress whenever he gets into town.

Colombia has three different distinct areas where gold is found.  One of these areas is in the Andes proper where it is found as epithermal deposits in shear zones.  The area also contains placer gold. The second area is in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains in the northeast of Colombia.  These mountains are not part of the Andes, but rather are a distinct mountain range in their own right that has the distinction of being the highest coastal range in the world at 5,700 meters (17,760 feet).  Although these mountains are reported to contain much gold it is protected by a tribe of Indians that were never conquered by the Spaniards that take a dim view of gold seekers that are after their gold.  The third area is in the Guyana Shield a large group of Precambrian Rocks that are found in the southeastern part of the country where they continue into Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela.

E&MJ considers Colombia as the last frontier of the Andes Mountains because so much has already been discovered in the Andes further south.  Gold is the least of the mineral wealth of Colombia the country is already the home of the largest deposits of emeralds on earth with finds dating back to the days of the Incas.  Colombia also contains coal measures that are largely being exported to Europe.  One company Xstrata produces high grade coal from its Cerrejon mine the largest in Colombia.

Getting back to my friend Nick in his prospecting he has discovered a pegmatite in the part of Colombia where he is prospecting that contains crystals of aquamarine of euclase,   This will show you that much more then gold can be found in Colombia.

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