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The Cuale Mining District, covering approximately 30 km2, is located in the northwestern part of Talpa de Allende Municipality (Jalisco) (20°22′N, 105°07′W), 30 km southeast of Puerto Vallarta (Fig. 1). Access to the district is by the Puerto Vallarta Barra de Navidad road for 40 km, from which point a 43-km year-round passable dirt road runs east to the area.

The La Prieta Mine discovery in 1804 launched mining activity in the district; deposits were mined intermittently by the Hernández family until 1854 and more regularly by the Unión de Cuale Company from 1854 to 1899 (Beatty, 1899). In the past century an estimated 250,000 tons of selected ores with 900 to 1,500 g/ton Ag were extracted and processed by roasting, amalgamation, and leaching in numerous small haciendas around Cuale. From 1900 to 1954, several companies (the Esperanza Company, El Oro, México, Compañía Minera Peñoles, and Eagle Picher Company) attempted unsuccessfully to reactive the mines. Local prospectors mined Minas del Oro deposits in rudimentary fashion (Triplett, 1938).

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