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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gold Occurrences in the Argentine

Map of Argentina.  The provinces in the far west of the country are most apt to contain gold
By Bliff

Although an ocean separates them Argentina has a neighbor the country of South Africa that although they were split apart with the opening of the Atlantic Ocean during the Cretaceous millions of years ago they share much in common.  Forty percent of all the gold that has ever been mined comes from the Witwatersrand in South Africa that leaves the question are like gold deposits to be found in the rocks of Argentina.  The very name of the country is derived from the Latin word for silver “argent” hence Argentina.

Argentina overhauled its protectionist mining laws in 1993 causing gold production to rise in a parabolic curve from a mere 36,000 ounces to over 1 million ounces.  This change in the laws has made Argentina the third largest producer of gold in South America.  This number was only exceeded by Peru and Brazil, respectively.  Only Argentina has seen as dramatic a rise in recent years.

Only in Argentina has the level of gold production raised in recent years with the production of gold having peaked in the other countries.  These points out the fact that unlike the others Argentina’s gold fields are from being mature is respect to their development cycles.  Argentina’s wealth of buried gold is yet to see any meaningful development translating into a booming domestic gold industry with a pronounced growth curve.

In area Argentina is the second largest country in South America that is 1,580 kilometers from east to west and 3,460 kilometers from north to south.  To its west it borders Chile along the crest of the Andes.  The country has well over thirty volcanoes that also follow the Andes which have supplied the heat engines necessary to forming deposits of gold dissolved in their hydrothermal waters.

The presence of placer gold in the rivers and streams draining the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains are known to contain large amounts of placer gold.  Some of the deposits that have been found are supposed to exceed 1 million ounces of gold.  Some of this gold is pristine crystals giving weight that gold nuggets are caused by gold fixing bacteria.  Much of this crystalline gold is as high in content as >98% pure gold, some of the purest in the world.

Lode gold is often associated with arsenopyrite and copper sulfides the normal byproducts of hard-rock gold.  Another element often associated with the gold from Argentina is mercury that may explain why the placer gold has such a high percentage of gold because the mercury left over from past mining operations has dissolved the residual silver.  There are lode deposits the length of Argentina in the spine of the Andes Mountains.


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