US$1.3 billion in Chinese investment has made possible the exploitation of the country’s first underground copper and zinc concentrate mine located in Maimón, in the province of Monseñor Nouel in the center of the country. The Chinese company is Shenzhen Zhongjin Lingnan Nonfemet Company Limited (NONFEMET) that specializes in the production of non-ferrous metal
In an interview with El Nuevo Diario, company vice president Elizabeth Mena said around 2,000 tons of ore are being extracted per year. The underground mining operation began in January 2019 and has a yield of 1.2 million tons per year with a lifespan through 2034.
Cerro de Maimón Sur operates at a depth of 70 kilometers of tunnels in 2 square kilometers. Cerro de Maimón Sur is currently the only VMS deposit under production in the Caribbean region. Volcanogenic massive sulfide ore deposits, also known as VMS ore deposits, are a type of metal sulfide ore deposit, mainly copper-zinc which are associated with and created by volcanic-associated hydrothermal events in submarine environments.
The deposit is hosted in the Maimón Formation of early Cretaceous age, which is part of the oldest and chemically most primitive island-arc in the Caribbean.
13 October 2020