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metalliferous minerals

bulletCura Mallin Area

 

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bulletMining and geological antecedents of the area

A group of properties owned by Minera Cordillera del Viento is located in this area, including lead, barite and copper. The best known one is without a doubt the mine “Arroyo Nuevo”, important mantiform deposit of barite, which due to its thicknesses and high purity has been for a long time object of several studies and researches, as well as one of the main barite suppliers in the regional and national market for more than 30 years. An important fact is that before the discovery of this deposit and since the end of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the following century, this area was (together with Milla Michicó) epicenter of the gold mining in the north of Neuquén. Auriferous alluvions and a large quantity of veins concentrated most part of the mining activity in this district during the first years of 1900. Apparently, the alluvions with better performance were those exploited in the strings Milla Michicó, Nuevo, Cura Mallín, La Trasquila, Atrauquito and Manzano, in which in some cases average daily recoveries of 2 grams per miner were reported. (Stoll,1957). Some years later, and with the alluvial deposits of the area partially depleted, the discovery of new veins in the zone of Huingancó and de las Minas hill in Andacollo moved and concentrated the auriferous exploitation in such spots, which was quite successful until the middle of 1957, when it started to decline.

Another fact worth remembering is that during the execution of the so-called Center Andean Plan (Plan Cordillerano Centro -1962-1968) the General Management of Fabricaciones Militares detected a group of geological evidences correspondent to disseminated mineralization of copper in the area Los Maitenes –El Salvaje, only about 4 km to the north of Cura Maillín. Therefore, Fabricaciones Militares established there the mining reservation area Nº 55, with and estimated surface of 52 km², and started exploration works orientated to the search of a deposit with those characteristics. Even when the mentioned explorations did not help back then to define the limits of the deposit, they confirmed the presence of the disseminated mineralization and the geological information obtained was a useful guide for many companies that later on performed new exploration works in different sites of the district. In some cases, new prospective goals or important evidences of new mineralizations were detected, both vetiform and disseminated and especially of gold and silver. The district Andacollo was included and the zone Arroyo Nuevo was established as an area of interest in one of the last reviews in charge of the technical Japanese mission JICA and the National Mining Undersecretary about the state of situation of mining areas and prospects of interest in order to promote and develop them in the Patagonia (JICA, S,M.N, 2000).

In the mentioned report the area is considered as a high potential zone, reason why the Japanese mission suggested not including it for a second phase of complementary studies in order to confirm such condition.

“In this disctrict mining activities by private companies is on-going and high potenciality has been already proven.. With consideration given to the purpose of this survey that new promising areas should be extracted, it si judged that this district is not necessary to be included in the Phase 2 survey”. (pp 251. JICA,SMN,2000).

 

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Geological scheme and location of sampling points in the District (JICA,2000)

 

 

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