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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gold Occurrences in Paraguay

Map of Paraguay   - CIA

Paraguay is the next area in South America slated for heavy mineral exploration including gold.  Already more then 15 permits have been awarded for the exploration of gold in the country.  Concessions for gold exploration have already been awarded in the southern department of Guaira where several gold nuggets have been already found in the process of exploration.  In addition there are several other interesting areas that are yet to be explored.

In addition to the gold mining prospects there has also been considerable interest in diamonds and platinum group metals combined with nickel.  Most of the companies involved in exploration are still in the prospecting stage.  One of the companies involved in diamond exploration is Toronto-based Rex Diamond (TSX-RXD) that recently asked the government for a six month extension of its license.

The undersecretary also indicated that there are other mid-sized mining companies looking for gold and diamonds throughout the country.  Many of these companies are looking to develop small scale mining operations on their finds.  Meanwhile the Paraguayan Congress is working to overhaul the country’s mining code that will give the authorities and mining industry a greater measure of security for investors and clarify many aspects of the mining code.

Although there has been no recent volcanism in Paraguay there are at least two ancient volcanic provinces in the country to provide heat engines for the depositation of gold.  These are the Alto Paraguay Department where 240 million year old alkaline volcanic rocks underlie younger sediments.  At one point these rocks were explored for their potential uranium and phosphate deposits.

The other area of volcanism is found in a narrow strip along the Parana River these tholetic basalts that belong to the Parana Traps makes up most of the bedrock and underlies younger sedimentary rocks.  These traps also are host to the famous amethyst geodes found in Paraguay and Uruguay.  These volcanics were erupted in the Early Cretaceous as the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean and created minor outcrops seen today in a graben structure seen between Asuncion and Villarrica in the Amambay Department.  Cretaceous volcanism was also responsible for small sodic alkaline intrusions found in the Misiones Department of southern Paraguay.

The rivers that drain suspected gold bearing areas can contain much placer gold that in many cases is of viable commercial mines, but the same placer gold can be used to trace hard-rock gold deposits.  Gold can be found in areas that have undergone volcanism whether it is recent of something that has happened in the geologic past.


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