Historically, the wealth of Guatemala has been related to land ownership and exploitation of their natural resources. Due in part to potential metallic mineral and Guatemala and a magnanimous Mining Act with investors, the mining sector is a very attractive area.
The Environmental Statistical Yearbook 2010, National Institute of Statistics indicates that the annual production of silver (the most exploited metal product) is 4,110,016 troy ounces, while gold is 272.783 troy ounces. The annual sale is more than 510 million quetzals in silver and gold almost 2200.
Nonmetallic products, volcanic sand and pumice sand are extracted as much. In terms of sales, is bentonite extraction, after extraction of gold and silver, which produces higher revenues in sales. Quetzales 88 million a year.
The mining and extraction several types have caused controversy due to environmental damage related to the use mining and opposition of the inhabitants of the communities in which the projects are developed.
The Directorate General of Mines granted permits for the use of its territory through three types of licenses: reconnaissance, exploration and exploitation. The licenses are authorizations that may be granted to any person, national or foreign individual or legal entity.
The recognition confers the power to locate potential areas for exploration, for a period of six months.
The exploration license allows, for a term of three years, study, analyze and evaluate the deposits of the area. Permission to develop the deposits obtained through the operating license in an area consisting of a polygon not more than 20 km ².
An operating license is granted for a period of up to 25 years, which may be extended for an equal period.
Until March 1, 2012 the Mining Cadastre recorded three hundred ninety-one existing licenses. A recognition, 116 and 274 scan operation.
The only part of reconnaissance license Firecreek Resources SA No.1 ISA for the project covering an area of 2.492 km ² on the South Coast. A similar territory’s land surface Suchitepéquez department (2,510 km ²). Firecreek Resources intends locate areas of potential exploitation of rare earths, wolframite, cobalt, chromite, hematite, zircon, ilmenite, magnetite, rutile, nickel, monazite, cassiterite, sands and gravels.
MAIN FEATURES OF THE SILVER
Silver is a metal coin very ductile and malleable, somewhat harder than gold, which has a white gloss metal polish that is capable of maintaining water and air but tarnishes its surface in the presence of ozone, hydrogen sulfide or air with sulfur. Its malleability and ductility, second only to gold-are such that it is possible to obtain sheets of 0.00025 mm and 1g of manufacturing a metal wire 180 meters long.
It has the highest electrical conductivity of all metals, even higher than copper-conductor par excellence, but its high price has prevented massively used in electrical applications.
Pure silver also has the highest thermal conductivity, whitest color and greater reflectivity (although poorly reflects ultraviolet radiation) of all metals. Some are photosensitive silver salts (decompose by the action of light) and have been used in photography.
It dissolves in acids and oxidizing agents can present oxidation states +1, +2 and +3, the most common oxidation state +1.
The oxide and silver sulfate formed on the citric acid can be dissolved in wiping and forming silver citrate.
Silver in Guatemala
In Guatemala, silver has been mined since ancient times, in mines of the east. Currently abandon these mines are either because the ore is over or not continuous extraction mines substitution crops, especially coffee, bananas or sugar.
Currently there is only a specific project silver mining in the country, the company Tahoe Resources and Mine The Escobal located in the department of Santa Rosa. It is considered that the silver deposit located in this mine is the largest in Central America, with estimated reserves of 318 million ounces of silver and mining work would last 18 years are permitted once the operating license, currently still in the exploration phase.
Silver also can be a byproduct in the gold mines and almost always the case and the process of extraction is the same in this case, but when the silver is extracted specifically single, then the process may change a bit and then the byproducts from the extraction of silver may change.
Processes of extracting gold and silver will see in the next article…