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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gold Occurrences in Haiti

Coat of Arms of Haiti

When he was asked to describe what kind of land was to be found in Haiti Christopher Columbus picked up a piece of paper crumpled it and dropped it on the table. This was the kind of land they had in Haiti he told them it is extremely mountainous as well as the land in the Dominican Republic where just over the border from Haiti they actually have mountain peaks that are more than 10,000 feet high. The Gold occurrences in Haiti have been mainly discovered in the northern mountains of not only Haiti but the entire island of Hispaniola that also includes the Dominican Republic.

The rocks and the entire island of Hispaniola are no older than the Cretaceous Period although on and off laying island from the main island there are some rocks that are arguably from the Paleozoic era.  First gold mines on the island were established by the Spaniards in 1520. It was these gold mines that led to the extinction of the Arawak Indians on the island because the Spaniards used them as slaves to work the mines. The very name Haiti is one of the few words that have survived the Arawak Indians, it means mountainous place.

Once the Spaniards discovered the tremendous amounts of gold to be had in Mexico Gold mining operations in Haiti came to an ending and for centuries Gold Mining almost ceased on the island. Gold was recently rediscovered in Haiti along with other base metals in booting copper and zinc. These deposits are now being explored by many prospectors and mining companies from the US and Canada.

Since the gold mining industry has reestablished itself in Haiti there has been a growth of artisanal mining throughout the country. And there are gold buyers that make you regular circuit of the country buying gold from the miners in what has been described as a circus atmosphere somewhat reminiscent of a flea market. There are many places where gold has been found in hard rock deposits, but there are many places where it can also be found as placer gold.

One of these deposits located at Grand Bois is estimated to contain over 4,000,000 tonnes of ore that averages 1.9 g per tonne. The gold is found in the oxidized zone near the surface of the earth making it extremely amenable to open pit mining. There are other deposits of gold found throughout the northern part of the island, but Grand Bois is the largest. Most of the gold of his been discovered is in the vicinity of where two fault lines intersect. Copper is another metal that his been found on the island in considerable amount that may prove to be more monetarily rewarding then the gold deposits.


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