Huelva, Spain

Main commodities: Cu Zn Pb Ag FeS2
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The Sotiel pyrite mine is located within Huelva Province and belongs to the Pyrite Belt of southern Spain.   In 1990 it had reserves of 59 Mt grading 0.61% Cu, 1.60% Pb, 3.8% Zn, 39 g/t Ag.   The highest grade is the Central body which is 11m thick and contains grades of 15.6% Pb+Zn. Another 5 m thick band carries 5.56% Cu.   In addition there was a resource of cupriferous pyrite amounting to 13 mt @ 0.36% Cu, 0.46% Pb, 0.96% Zn, and 2.8 Mt of slate with 0.49% Cu.

The ore occurs in a series of lenticular bodies dipping at 45 degrees and extending over a strike length of 950 m, up to 50 m thick and extending to a depth of 650 m.

Mining is mainly by open pit, although an underground reserve of 14.5 Mt @ 0.59% Cu, 1.78% Pb, 4.23% Zn was also being exploited.   A second open pit was planned to extract an additional 10.9 Mt of pyrite, 31 Mt of complex pyritic ore and 2.8 Mt of leachable slate rich in copper.   This would involve stripping 377 Mt of overburden in a 1300x750 m pit to a depth of near 400 m.

The deposit lies within the Lower Carboniferous Volcanic-Sedimentary Complex composed of marine volcanic rocks with intercalated slates, quartzites, sandstones and limestones. These units are overlain by the Carboniferous Culm formation of slates and greywackes. The basement is and apparently conformably underlying succession of Upper Devonian slates, quartzites, sandstone, limestone and conglomerate.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 1989.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.

  References & Additional Information
   Selected References:
Soriano C, Marti J  1999 - Facies analysis of volcano-sedimentary successions hosting massive sulfide deposits in the Iberian Pyrite belt, Spain: in    Econ. Geol.   v94 pp 867-882
Tornos F,  2006 - Environment of formation and styles of volcanogenic massive sulfides: The Iberian Pyrite Belt: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v28 pp 259-307
Vazquez Guzman F  1989 - Spain (Extracts): in Dunning F W, Garrard P, Haslam H W, Ixer R A (Eds.),  Mineral Deposits of Europe IMM, London   v 4/5: Southwest and Eastern Europe, with Iceland pp 105-127, 194-196

Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo takes no responsibility what-so-ever for inaccurate or out of date data, information or interpretations.

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