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Peñas Azules Deposit, Sierra Calchaquí, Amaicha del Valle District, Tafí del Valle Department, Tucumán, Argentina

Latitude: 26°17'29"S
Longitude: 65°37'31"W
Yacimiento de calizas de Peñas Azules, Sierra Calchaquí.

Deposit Peñas Azules.

History:
The site is located at 3,500 metres, and was discovered in 1961 by Dr. Celestino Danieli, head of the Geology Department of the Instituto Miguel Lillo. In 1968, Mr. Alberto Luna Reyeros, director of mines of the province of Tucumán, conducts research in the area, lacking roads and a relief steep and broken. Luna Reyeros calculated that the site had 2743 million tonnes of limestone. The Government requested the Miguel Lillo Foundation in 1970 that it constituted a Committee which aimed to settle a factory of portland in Tucumán, to produce 350,000 tonnes per year with UNT and the Industrial Union. The architect Estigarribia recounts that in 1973 was entrusted the geological survey to the doctors Bernabé Quartino, Carlos Rinaldi and Enrique Maiterrena, determining a pool of 40 million tons. A drilling plan is then faced in 1976/77, but the limestone reserves turned out to be much lower than expected: 15.6 million tons. To produce 350,000 tons annual portland cement required 375,000 tons of ore which exists in blue rocks. It is to say that there would be raw material for 40 years and by the availability of clay and gypsum - complementary inputs for the manufacture of cement — the area chosen for the site of the plant was Tapia. The Dirección Provincial de Vialidad then faced a new trace on the way to Peñas Azules, from "Las Tipas", near Raco, using the procedure to open the mining footprint with teams of heavy bulldozers. Using aerial photos, the path length was estimated at 125 kilometers. In 34 months 86 kilometers, is made to exceed Chasquivil, with a five-meter-wide road. The works were suspended in May 1979. The works included the opening of the trace, failing to build in its entirety artworks, defenses, walls and driveways. The trace of the road passed through Sauce Yaco, Lagunita, Cabra Horco, Chasquivil and San José de Chasquivil, until you reach Peñas Azules, benefiting the towns of Anca Juli, La Hoyada and Anfama, which undoubtedly also could become an excellent tourist route for Tucumán. But the high cost of the transport of limestone to Tapia, the absence of bidders in the tender for the operation of the mill, and the suspension of the work of mining footprint ended up with expectations and illusions that produced Peñas Azules.

Geology:
Metamorphic limestone: Is interesting to note the existence of large crystalline limestone deposits on the eastern slope of the Calchaquíes saws, angle Northwest of "Alto de Las Minas" and "Peñas Azules". A limestone is in part grafitoide of large grains, of metamorphic origin, linked to an intrusion of granitic nature, which is superficially forming three bodies.
A preliminary report on such a limestone, considered whether a single cloak in part covered by vegetation, appearing the mantle which is called 1 in the "La Cañada de La Mina" as a semicircle with a radius that reaches about a kilometre and a vertical drop of approximately 100 metres.
To the South, at a distance of 8 kilometers appears 2 mantle, and instead called "Peñas Azules" distanced about 10 kilometers from the 1 mantle, appears 3 mantle.
The limestone is presented with a granular structure, coarse, in colors ranging from white, Pearl Grey to pink, and found the presence of black limestone of fine grain.
As accessory minerals appear graphite thinly spread, with low proportion of limonite, pyrite, quartz, and some amphiboles and pyroxenes.
He was a cubing of the mineral reserves visible, based on measures of length, thickness and uneven for the outcrops, 1 and 2, by calculating approximately about 4,300 million gross, positive and likely tons of limestone.
It's a good quality according to the performed analysis mineral and that varies around 53 per cent of CaO.


Mineral List

Amphibole Supergroup
Calcite
Graphite
'Limonite'
Pyrite
'Pyroxene Group'
Quartz


7 entries listed. 5 valid minerals.

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References

Peña, Hugo A. (1970): Minerales y rocas de aplicación de la Provincia de Tucumán. Dirección Provincial de Minas. Tucumán. República Argentina.

Celestino A. Danieli (1963). Noticia preliminar sobre el hallazgo de un yacimiento de caliza cristalina en la Provincia de Tucumán. Acta Geológica Lilloana. Tomo IV, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán.

A. Luna Reyeros (1968). Las calizas de la Provincia de Tucumán. Estudio geológico-económico de los yacimientos de calizas de las cumbres Calchaquíes. Instituto Miguel Lillo. Universidad Nacional de Tucumán. Tesis Doctoral. Inédito.

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