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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gold Occurrences in Cuba

Coat of Arms of Cuba

Although Cuba has been off limits for Americans since shortly after Fidel Castro took power in 1959 an active mining industry has sprung up with gold being one of the products being mined.  Other mineral products include copper and zinc in deposits found the central province of Villa Clara under the framework of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) according to reports seen in the weekly newspaper Trabajadores of Nov. 11, 2008.

Cuba according to Armando Garcia the chief of operations for the view of the Geominera Del Centro Company said the gold mine will be located in the municipality of Placetas copper and zinc mine being located in Manicaraqua.  He went on to say Cuba is developing several economic and social programs under the ALBA initiative that will promote regional integration as an alternative to the made in the US free trade agreement. Other projects that are being promoted under the spell ALBA include the fuel refinery and derivative processing facilities at Cienfuegos.

Cuba has a history of mining that extends back over 300 years, and the period from 1900 to the present time mining is a permanent activity. During World War II the mining of manganese, some copper and nickel was the most important meeting that occurred in Cuba. Cuba is also capable of producing nickel and cobalt ranks it sixth in the production of medical and produces about 8% of the world's supply of cobalt. The production and minerals is mainly state-controlled, although recently the government has tried to amend the mineral laws that will hopefully change the way mining is conducted in Cuba. Geominera in 1993 utilizing state funds was formed as a private company for the purpose of gold and base metals exploration.

The greatest amount of gold production in Cuba was in 1998 when the country produced 1000 kg of gold. This number has fallen back to around 500 kg according to the last reported figures.  The Delita concession on the Isla de la Juventud contains an estimated 1.5 million ounces of gold with the government planning for a possible open pit mine.

Cuba also has some placer gold mainly found as decomposed stringers of quartz in laterite.  The placer gold in Cuba is extremely fine and difficult to mine hence there is little or no placer mining on the island.

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