Recent Exploration Developments in Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru

Melbye, Charles E.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1998
INTRODUCTION In a discussion of South American exploration, it is difficult to know how much area to cover, as there has been such intense exploration for many years in all of the South American countries. Therefore, I have decided to discuss only Argentina, Bolivia and Peru in this paper, since I am most familiar with these three countries. This familiarity has been gained during my last 12 years of nearly continual exploration and mine development. Furthermore, these three countries form a contiguous block straddling the Andes Mountain chain for 2,200 miles in length N-S. Although Chile is part of this block, I excluded that country because it has had the longest recent history in South American exploration, and it is now in a mature stage where new important mines are being placed in production every year. Exploration must progress a lot for the other three countries to attain the stature of Chile. However, major exploration successes such as Yavacocha and Pieriva in Peru, Kori Khollu in Bolivia and Bajo Alumbrera, Agua Rica and Cerro Vanguardia in Argentina certainly indicates that these countries are rapidly accelerating in exploration successes and the resulting new mine developments. Also, by concentrating on three countries, I have avoided making this paper too lengthy. This paper will cover activities of both junior and senior mining companies, both of whom are making significant contributions to exploration. The junior companies often make the initial discovery, develop it further and then bring in a major company when large capital is required. Since most exploration is for gold and copper or combinations of these, most descriptions will cover these types. However, there are significant new exploration successes for zinc and for silver-lead-zinc, and they will be covered, as well. After descriptions of the various properties, there is included a discussion of the governmental policies of Argentina, Bolivia and Peru, as to how they are affecting exploration activities and budgets. Some of these problems could have a major negative affect on the future exploration plans of many companies. I have intended to cover what I think are significant exploration developments in each country, and if a company project is omitted, there was no intention to slight anyone. Since exploration results change monthly, there could be
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