Geology and genesis of the Naica mineral deposits, Chihuahua
The Naica mining district is located in the municipality of Saucillo in south-central Chihuahua State, 110 km directly southeast of Chihuahua, the state capital, at an altitude of 1,382 m and geographic coordinates 27°52′00″N, 105°26′15″W (Fig. 1). Access to the district is by a 26-km-long paved road joining the Panamerican Highway at Conchos Station and another road, also paved, that runs for 40 km to Ciudad Delicias; the MÃ©xico- Ciudad JuÃ¡rez Central Railroad stops at Conchos Station.
The first mining concession in the district was granted in 1794 (Aldama, 1945). The deposits were discovered by prospectors, and small-scale mining began in 1828, during the rainy seasons only owing to the scarcity of water (Lambert, 1892). In the last years of the nineteenth century the CompaÃ±Ã—;a Minera de Naica, S. A., began industrial operations, which were later (1911) suspended when the mine reached ground-water level, and also because of the country's political instability at the time. In 1924 several companies renewed the extraction of oxidized ores. This work continued until 1951, when the Fresnillo Company acquired the Naica Mine and installed electric pumps and a 400 ton/day sulfide-processing flotation plant (in 1952), which doubled production capacity the following year. In 1956 the Fresnillo Company acquired all the deposits in the district and is presently the only producing company under title of CompaÃ±Ã—;a Fresnillo, S. A. de C. V.; since that date the plant capacity gradually increased to 3,000 tons/day in 1985.
Figures & Tables
This volume was developed, produced, and privately printed in Mexico, in Spanish, by the late Ing. G.P. Salas in 1988, as a Mexican contribution to the Geology of North America, with the understanding that it would be translated into English for inclusion in the set. The translation is by Dr. Cecily Petzall of Caracas, Venezuela, with considerable figure translation and redrafting provided by GSA. Salas worked on the volume until his death, with much valuable help from Ing. Hugo Cortez Guzmán. The result is a valuable English-language synthesis of the information available to Salas in the early to mid-1980s about the geothermal, coal, and metal-mining sectors (and some non-metallic resources) of the economic geology of Mexico.