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In 1977, Guillermo P. Salas, general director of the Mineral Resources Council, commissioned special studies manager José Luis Lee Moreno to evaluate the geologic-mining potential of the Neovolcanic Axis Metallogenetic Province of Salas (1975). Detailed studies of ERTS-1 satellite images over approximately 10,000 km2 of the province had revealed important tectonic features suggesting as yet undiscovered ore deposits. The evaluation project began in 1977 under Raúl Cruz Ríos.

Regional geology (Nieto and others, 1977) indicated extensive volcanic-sedimentary outcrops at the boundary with the Sierra Madre del Sur province, and exploration for volcanogenic massive sulfides was recommended. By mid-1978 the first Tizapa samples had tested successfully, and the Metamorphic Rocks Project was set up in January 1979. Since that time, exploration and preliminary evaluation of the deposit have continued without interruption.

Tizapa lies 67 km directly 60° southwest of Toluca and 4 km southeast of Zacazonapan in southwestern Mexico State (Fig. 1). Highway 130 from Toluca leads to Temascaltepec, from where unpaved roadways reach Zacazonapan.

Fieldwork included a semidetailed regional geologic survey using part of the “Valle de Bravo” Sheet E-14-A-46 (Direccion General de Estudios del Territorio Nacional, scale 1:50,000) as topographic base; subsequent 1:1,000 topographic mapping over approximately 1 km2 as a basis for detailed geological and aerial geophysical electric surveys; direct diamond-drilling with core recovery; and a 30-m prospecting tunnel.

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