Metalliferous Ore Deposits of Bolivia

Author: Osvaldo Arce Burgoa, Ph.D., P.Geo
"Metalliferous Ore Deposits of Bolivia" is a complete document of 500 pages with detailed descriptions of 22 styles of metalliferous mineralization identified in the country, conceptual models in the 6 morpho-structural provinces, 26 districts, 87 deposits and 20 selected prospects.

Bolivian Association of Geologists
Address: Edificio Señor de la Exaltación Nro. 4683, Av. Hernando Siles between streets  1 y 2 Zona de Obrajes, La Paz - Bolivia
Phones: (+591 -2) 2751118 - 2750935

Osvaldo Arce
Teléfono: (+591) - 71591004
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This important work on the Metalliferous Ore Deposits of Bolivia represents an impressive compilation of the many and varied metallic mineral deposits and occurrences that characterize the nation of Bolivia.  More than two billion years of tectonic events are recorded in the cratonic rocks of eastern Bolivia, the folded and thrusted terranes of the eastern Andean orogen, and the modern volcanic arc of the western part of the Cordillera.  This complex geology of Bolivia provides for an exceptionally favorable environment for many economic base and precious metal deposit types, ranging from polymetallic VMS-, SEDEX-, and MVT-type ores to gold rich orogenic, epithermal, IOCG, and alluvial concentrations.   It is quite obvious why Bolivia has had such a significant, long-term mining history and why such a well-recognized, immense mineral resource potential remains in this nation that is close to fifty percent unexplored to under-explored.
Osvaldo Arce, a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists and an authority on the mineral resources of Bolivia, has put together here what is the most comprehensive volume on the economic geology of this nation.  This book provides the first English language, country-wide summary of the geology and resources present in Bolivia’s most significant known deposits of gold, silver, tin, zinc, and other metals.  It fills a very essential need in the basic mineral deposits literature.  This book will be an essential guide to individuals and companies considering exploration programs in Bolivia.  It will also serve as a useful overview for many years to all economic geologists hoping to learn more about metallogeny in the central Andes.  Arce should be congratulated for such a timely and authoritative book that clearly will encourage new discoveries and mine developments in this highly prospective region of South America.

Dr. Richard J. Goldfarb
 U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, Mail Stop 973,
Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO, 80225-0046,USA, and School of Earth and
Geographical Sciences (M004), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, 6009, AustraliaU.S. Geological Survey


This book deals mainly with the mineralization and its associated resource potential in the different tectonic and geological units of Bolivia. It reports a general description of the geology, structure, and lithostratigraphy of Bolivia, and of the various metallogenic provinces, mining districts, metal deposits, and most representative mineral occurrences.  The book emphasizes the discoveries made during the last twenty years, and the distribution in styles of mineralization, geotectonic setting, stratigraphic controls, and conceptual models.

The term metallogenetic province or region refers to a relatively large area, characterized by a particular association of mineral deposits, which may contain one or more styles and/or episodes of mineralization. A belt is an elongated area comprised of a group of metalliferous deposits or occurrences without genetic or historical connotations.  District covers a smaller area in extent that includes one or more deposits with similar geological features and controlled by certain lithologies, structural elements, and hydrothermal alteration. The book also summarizes the magmatism associated with the metallogeny, describes the evolution of prices and production of major metals, and provides an analysis of mineral prospecting over the short, medium, and long term, based on an estimate of mineral resources of  deposits in current production and prospects under exploration.

The geological information and the mineral-geological analysis are, in part, products of more than twenty years of research and exploratory work.  This work also has incorporated the findings of other authors, who have published important geological information on certain metal deposits in the country, and which after validation and correlation, are referenced within the text.
While the basic geological information regarding the deposits currently in operation or undergoing advanced exploration is relatively available, such information for several dozens of prospects discovered during the last twenty years is virtually unknown. Indeed, one objective of this work is to make available, where possible, information about new sites and prospects from the companies that have generated it.

This study aims to provide a comprehensive tool for students, researchers, professionals, and investors summarizing geology, metallogeny, and mineral exploration in Bolivia. Finally, it shows mining investment opportunities offered by the country and the urgent need to discover new economically exploitable deposits, due to rapid depletion of existing ones, and due to the country itself, during the last ten years, starting to slip in its global ranking as a major producer of metals. The new findings will undoubtedly form the basis of a future modern Bolivian mining industryand one of the pillars of the national economyfor a long time into the future.

The second edition is a product of an extensively revised work of the first edition, which was published in Spanish and had a great demand from readers. Some sections were slightly modified, in particular section on orogenic gold (antimony), BIF hosted and epigenetic fault related deposits that were improved. I am grateful to Dr. Richard Goldfarb for his comments on it.  Also, Chapter 7  was reviewed and some modifications and updating were made, especially on the section related to  Metaliferous Resources, Section of  Mineral Production, Mining Projects, and Estimate of the Metalliferous Resources, in response to the importance of viewing mineral deposits from an economic standpoint, and the changing situation of the mining industry following the prices crisis. I am grateful to Enrique Arteaga and Charles Bruce for their suggestions on it.

Bibliographic references were also improved to help the reader find works that will amplify the discussions this book has begun. Apart from the material discussed above I have separated in Appendix 1, the tables related to estimate of mineral resources in all physiographic provinces that were included in Chapter 7 from the first edition. 

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