The Geology of the Quioma Lead-Zinc-Silver Mine Asientos Mining District, Bolivia

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The Quioma Mine is located along the axis of the Cordillera Oriental, 130 km southeast of Cochabamba, South Central Bolivia. Silver, lead, zinc, antimony, and gold have been intermittently produced from veins in the Quioma area since Colonial times. Mineralization occurs within steeply dipping fissure veins transecting moderately folded Lower Ordovician sediments. Tectonic activity is early to mid-Tertiary and the vein system parallels the fold axis of a major northwest-southeast striking, doubly plunging anticline. Vein sets occur within a 2 km wide band over a strike distance of 13 km along the northeast limb of the anticline. Economic mineralization occupies syntectonic pre-mineral fault zones developed in more competent stratigraphis units of Lower Ordovician clastic sediments. Veins average 55 cm in width, although mineralized structures up to 3 m wide with a known strike length of several hundred meters have been mined. Mineralization consists of siderite, argentifferous galena, sphalerite, and quartz, with minor amounts of chalcopyrite, barite, and bournonite. Pyrite is rare except at the Boston vein where it occurs with stibnite that contains trace amounts of gold. A marked characteristic of veins in the district is evidence of repeated stages of movement during mineralization. Intrusive rocks are rare in the Quioma area. Narrow porphyritic dikes of Andesitic composition averaging 1 m in thickness have been observed. These dikes occasionally show a close spatial relationship to the veins and are often kaolinized and carbonitized. Vein and dike contacts are sharp and alteration does not appear to extend into the wall rock. Mineral zoning is suggested by antimony mineralization observed in peripheral areas of the anticline.
Full Article Download:
(770 kb)