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La Niquelina Mine, Rodeo de Tuctuca, Santa Victoria Department, Salta, Argentina

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 22° 22' 36'' South , 65° 13' 42'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -22.3766666667, -65.2283333333
Name(s) in local language(s):Mina "La Niquelina", Rodeo de Tuctuca, Departamento Santa Victoria, Provincia de Salta, Argentina.

Site vetiforme, associated with Uraninite, Gersdorffite, Chalcopyrite, Sphalerite, Tetrahedrite, among others.
Native bismuth: at the Nickel site, associated with Nickeline and Acanthite.

"La Niquelina" mine, Tuctuca Rodeo, Santa Victoria Department, found a fracture in quartzite, located in the vicinity of the contact with slating sediments, a narrow vein of direction N-S, mainly carrier of Pitchblende with Pyrite and Nickeline.
The vein, which has a development of about 50 meters, registers an irregular mineralization consisting of "pockets" of Uraninite (variety Pitchblende) with Pyrite and Nickeline.
It is located in the Rodeo of Tuctuca, Quebrada Blanca, left tributary of the Putumayo River, to the southeast of the Chalhuamayoc Hill in the Santa Victoria Department. It is 73 km away. South-East of La Quiaca and 30 Km. to the West and some to the North of the Abra del Condor, at a height of between 4,560 and 4,700 meters above the sea level.

Laws, reserves and production:
The laws have average values of Ni between 0.45% t 1.65%. Pb reaches tenors between 2.5% and 30%, and Zn with laws varying between 1.5% and 21% (Angelelli, 1984). On samples selected Ni values reach 20 - 23.96%, Co varies between 0.74% and 1.76%, while As is between 26.6% and 31.46%.

Important exploratory developments focused on three groups existed: the Southwest 7 work, of work L1 corresponds to a Gallery opened in shale and quartzites with 45 meters long. The central sector with L8 and L9 work who came to 180 metres of development, Northeast with L12, L13 and L14 consisting of 70 to 90 meters deep galleries.

History of the tank:
It was discovered in 1944 by Fernández Aguilar and studied by Angelelli (1950) and Fernandez Luna (1953), who conducted a survey of available tasks, with systematic sampling.

Regional Geology:
The mine is located on the eastern slope of the Sierra de Santa Victoria, on the boundary between the Highlands and the Eastern Cordillera. In the area there are rocks of the Ordovician and Cambrian affected by a tectonic blocks with Northwest-Southwest alignment.

Geology of the deposit:
Lithology: the site is vetiform and is located in silicified quartz sandstones of the upper Cambrian (Chalhuamayoc Formation) and silicified pelites of the Ordovicic (Santa Rosita Formation), integrated in a block bounded by reverse faults. On the eastern slope of the Quebrada Blanca there are sandstones silicified white quartz in the Western slate bluish-grey Shales with reddish tones, spots and specks ferrous. Both present direction N 40 ° E and tilt 60 ° NW. The boards contain intercalations of quartzites with powers of up to 1 meter. They are common sheets of quartz between the flat slates and fine veins of Hematite (Fernandez Lima, 1953). A reverse fault limited package mineralized to the East, phenomenon that could discontinue the tank.
Morphology: The vetiform system is constituted by short and discontinuous bodies carried out intermittently on a quadrilateral of 0.32 square kilometers. Veins correspond to fault fill type with the presence of gaps in slates, invaded by two mineral supplement pulses. Mineralization is also distributed in the pelitic unit joins or impregnation in quartzite, forming tabular bodies. The area is crossed by numerous guides of milky white quartz that occurs following the plans of fisilied of shales and slates. The mineral is located in a very uneven and irregular system with predominant directions N40 ° W-70 ° W. The site presents a diaclases impregnation zone and 6 main veins. Two of the units are exposed in the vicinity of the camp and the rest 800 meters to the North. The filling of the veins is plenty of brecchias material of the rock box within which the mineralization is located.
In the southern grain (Angelelli, 1950) opened up 55 meters of tunnel with lunges and fireplaces. The N ° 2 work consists of a gallery of 29 meters following a vein of 1.5 to 3 meters. The main grain has powers between 1 and 1.5 meters.

It was studied in detail by Brodtkorb (1973). General mineralization is finely disseminated and in thin veins of up to 1 mm thick. Primary deposit minerals are Uraninite, Gersdorffite, Nickeline, Chalcopyrite, Sphalerite, Galena, Tetrahedrite and Pyrite.
The first ore deposit is Pitchblende, which forms bands botryoidal or rounded grains. It is invaded by Chalcopyrite and sometimes by Gersdorfitte cracked. Rarely there are impregnations of Uraninite with sulfides.
The Gersdorffite is disseminated and sporadically associated with Pitchblende and sulfides. Subsequently precipitated Chalcopyrite and Sphalerite and least amount of Galena, Tetrahedrite and Pyrite. These minerals are associated and scattered in the shale.
The second group of minerals in deposit forms solid structures and consists of strongly zonal Nickeline, with frequent veins that cross. It is sandwiched with Gersdorffite. In small amounts is observed within the Nickeline, Acanthite and native Bismuth. Continue Maucherite, Chalcopyrite, Millerite, Acanthite and native Bismuth, which crystallized at lower temperatures. The alotriomorfous Acanthite is associated with sulphides. Supergenics minerals include Annabergite, Hematite, Limonite and Copper color. The ganga is predominantly Quartz and to a lesser extent Siderite. Appears in the Nickeline joint fillers covering the walls in thin crust with surface roughness and streaks, like as masses with structure in laminar and mixed with Galena and Sphalerite, either scattered between sulfide and gangue material. Also the Nickeline was observed impregnating quartzite from the box, in the form of spots or veins on variable thickness.

Chemical Analysis of Pitchblende:
UO2: 45.40%.
UO3: 21.52%.
ThO2 and rare earths: 0.73%.
PbO: 1.39%.
Fe2O3: 8.90%.
CaO: 1.40%.
P2O5: no det.
ZrO2: 0.95%.
H2O: 2.72%%.
Other elements(SiO2,SO3,P2O5,CO2,NiO,CuO,As2O3,TiO2,F,etc...): 17.77%.

Mineral List

15 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

0 - 66 Ma
Cenozoic mixed volcanic, volcaniclastic and sedimentary rocks

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 66 Ma)

Comments: This designation includes Precambrian iron-formation-bearing sedimentary and volcanic sequences, as well as mixed sedimentary and volcanic or volcaniclastic sequences.

Lithology: Mixed volcanic, volcaniclastic and sedimentary rocks

Reference: Geological Survey of Canada. Generalized geological map of the world and linked databases. doi:10.4095/195142. Open File 2915d. [18]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Victorio Angelelli (1958). Los minerales de uranio sus yacimientos y prospección. Departamento de Geología y Minería. Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica. Argentina.

M. K. de Brodtkorb (1973). Estudio de la mineralización del yacimiento La Niquelina, prov. de Salta, y un análisis comparativo de sus posibles relaciones con los depósitos Romicruz y Esperanza. Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina, 28 (4): 364-368.

C. S. Lurgo Mayón (1999). Depósitos polimetálicos ricos en Níquel, Cobalto y Arsénico de la cordillera oriental, Jujuy y Salta.

Carlos S. Lurgo Mayón (1999). Recursos Minerales de la República Argentina. Volumen II, Anales N° 35, Subsecretaría de Minería de la Nación - SEGEMAR (Servicio Greológico Minero Argentino).

M. K. de Brodtkorb, E. Bjerg y A. Mogessie (2008). Mineralogía y quimismo de la paragénesis del yacimiento La Niquelina, Salta. 9° Congreso de Mineralogía y Metalogénesis: 81-84. Jujuy.

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