|Coat of Arms of Puerto Rico|
Monday, March 12, 2012
Gold Occurrences in Puerto Rico
Its very name in English means
and yes there is gold in Puerto Rico. Over seventy years before Rich
Rico became an American Possession the Spaniards established a
mine on the
that the first Americans found as ruins in 1898. This old mine was discovered by W.A.
Shoemaker who was traveling all over the island in behalf of the American
Association of Manufacturers and the Mami River
on a commercial investigation of the island and its resources while on the
outlook for possible commercial ventures.
The old goldmine on the Philadelphia
was one of his discoveries. Mami River
Gold was discovered in the Central Highlands of Puerto Rico in the early 16th century and there were several gold mines operating until the end of the 16th century. For many centuries gold mining was missing from the
Island and wasn’t revived until 1828 when a
mine was established once again in the Central Highlands.
Gold was the first economy established on the island that was shipped to
when it was mined. These mining ventures
were built on the backs of the Taino Indians
who several times revolted against their Spanish conquerors until their
survivors were driven to the interior of the island where many of their women
were taken as wives by the Spanish sailors finally creating the present day
Puerto Ricans. Spain
Gold is found in five different types of deposits on the
as placer deposits,
copper skarns, porphyry
copper-gold deposits and acid-sulfate precious metal deposits. It is thought by the USGS that there is
plenty of opportunity to find additional deposits of gold on the island as well
as in the surrounding continental shelves.
While there is no real evidence of these deposits it is possible that
there are large bulk concentrations of gold in the intensively acid
sulfate altered areas. Many of the skarns
are accompanying tertiery intrusives and in many of the polymetallic veins
found in island
of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico and its offshore areas.
The first gold deposits worked by the Spaniards were probably placer gold. These deposits can be found associated with all the major rivers on the island that drain north from the Central Highlands. Although these deposits are mostly small it has been estimated that they may aggregate as high as 1 million ounces of gold. There are also placer gold associated porphyry copper-gold deposits of the Utuado District where it is found in the small drainage basins of the surrounding area.
It is also thought that several underground placer deposits could be hosted in the many caves in the karst topography found on the north side of island. Although these deposits are probably small they could also be extensive and for the most part are little explored unlike the surface rivers where there was extensive exploration under the Spaniards during the 1500s.