GeoWorld February 2013

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BY BRIAN V. HALL AND GEORGE A. GORZYNSKI Resource Mapping Conquistadors��� Quest Continues Modern Technologies Uncover Aztec Silver and Gold T he Spanish Conquistadors came to the New World in the search of silver and gold, which they found in huge abundance and changed the history of the world. Now 500 years later, that search continues as geologists armed with modern tools and ideas are discovering new mines in these ancient mining districts. One of the key tools to this modern exploration success is GIS technology capable of compiling vast and diverse information into a format from which data analysis can effectively be undertaken. IMPACT Silver Corp. is a Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based mining company that discovered and now operates a number of modern silver mines in the ancient Royal Mines of Zacualpan District (about 623 square kilometers) located approximately 100 kilometers southwest of Mexico City. Onsite at Zacualpan, a large GIS data compilation of the historical and current mining information has been ongoing for the last five years. Using Esri���s ArcGIS 10.1 as a viewing and analysis platform, new prospects for silver and gold are being discovered and evaluated. Ancient History The Zacualpan Silver-Gold District is arguably the site of the oldest-known mining activity in North America, dating to before the arrival of the conquistadors under Hernan Cort��s. Studies of the migration routes for the metallurgical techniques developed by Incas of central Peru (see Figure 1) indicate a Mexican metal working 14 G E O W O R L D / F E B R U A R Y 2 O 1 3

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