|Coat of Arms of Brazil|
Friday, May 4, 2012
Gold Occurrences in Brazil
Within its borders Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world; it touches upon all the countries in
America except Ecuador. The country also has an astonishing variety
of mineral deposits including iron, gold, gemstones, diamonds and oil. There are literally hundreds of active mining
companies found in Brazil.
also enjoys a rising economy and has a stable government with the future for
mining being extremely bright.
The Amazonian shield covers much of the eastern portion of the South American continent and provides many of its gold mines. Prospecting in the area is similar to prospecting in
Province in Ontario
with a repeat of its greenstone belts with alternating gneiss’s. There are also many deposits of turbidite
hosted paleo-gold deposits similar to those found in the Witwatersrand
in South Africa. To the north of the Amazonian shield is the Guyana
shield, to the south are the Rio Apa and Platian cratons and in the west is the
Sao Francisco craton.
All of these areas are gold bearing.
It is estimated that less then 30% of the country has been adequately mapped so there is plenty of room for prospecting in both placer and lode gold deposits. Placer deposits can be found throughout
except in the depths of the ,
and there are plenty of gold deposits found in the Precambrian Shield areas
that dot the country. Amazon Basin
One of the biggest problems facing the Brazilian mining industry are the number of artisanal mining operations that keep popping up; there was a gold rush in the 1990s that centered on the Guyana shield that reportedly attracted over 90,000 miners to the area. These miners for the most part disregarded good environmental practices resulting in large areas that were contaminated with mercury and other contaminants.
It has been found that artisanal mining is today the largest source of mercury release into the environment not only in
but other countries too. One of the
sites mentioned that is the largest is in the Tapajos
River Basin in the Amazon region of Brazil. The Global Mercury Project (GMP) under the
auspices of the United Nations is aiming to reduce this mercury contamination.