Patagonian Gold, Silver Rush Underway and Growing
Source: Mineweb, Lawrence Williams (10/26/10)
"First beneficiaries likely to be companies with projects already underway in key areas."
There are a number of global regions where the term 'gold rush' might be considered appropriate, but most of these are in areas with considerable gold mining history going back many years. The Yukon, Ontario/Quebec, West Africa, Western Australia, even the South African historic greenstone belt around Barberton, all spring to mind as being current hotbeds of activity, but there are few such areas with considerably less gold mining history and one of these is Patagonia, specifically Argentina's Santa Cruz province where, contrary to the experience of prospective miners in Chubut immediately to the north, Mendoza and La Rioja, mining companies are well-regarded and the Provincial authorities are supportive.
Gold mining and exploration history in the province effectively only goes back around 30 years when what is now AngloGold Ashanti's Cerro Vanguardia epithermal vein deposits were first discovered by explorers looking for barites, although the significance was not really understood until another 12 years had passed. Similarly what is now the Manantial Espejo mine was also first noted in the early 1970s And again it took a big revival in silver and gold prices, and a new focus on exploration in the region, before anything was developed. Now, in recent years the Deseado Massif, which is host to Cerro Vanguardia and Manantial Espejo, has spawned a number of mines and exciting exploration projects, most of which have only been discovered in the past few years.
Companies involved Extorre Gold Mines Ltd. (TSX:XG; Fkft:E1R; OTCQX:EXGMF) (spun off from Exeter Resource Corp. (NYSE.A:XRA; TSX:XRC; Fkft:EXB) earlier this year) and Argentex Mining Corporation (TSX.V:ATX; OTCBB:AGXM), to name but a few.