The Caimanes district is located in Region IV, Coquimbo Region, Choapa Province, Los Vilos District, 4 km west of Caimanes, at the Monte Aranda Landholding. It is accessed from the Panamerican Highway by taking the Illapel exit, on the road that passes by the Las Vacas Mine. The UTM coordinates are: N 6 457 000 – 6 467 000; E 292 000 – 295 000.
The prospect comprises 33 exploitation mineral rights concessions and covers 4924 hectares
The district comprises rocks from the Arqueros Formations that date back to the Lower Cretaceous, made up of porphyritic andesites and andesites with some limestone and mineralogy with garnet content. It also includes rocks belonging to the Viñitas formation, from the Upper Cretaceous, comprising andesites and concordantly intercalated limonites. The Viñitas formation rocks are oriented NS, with layers to the W, apparently in stratigraphic continuity overlying the Arqueros formation, and to the W, and in tectonic contact along the regional NS Pupio Fault. Metamorphic limestone types are present in lenticular formation of white marble, with calcium carbonate purity of at least 60% to 70% and up to 90%. Carbonate mines are also present in the area.
This stratified complex features granodiorite intrusions from a broad regional pluton, over which it lies as an elongated NS roof pendant. This pluton is believed to have caused metallic metasomatism, principally of Cu, Mo and of W and Mn, as shown by the presence of identified Cu/Mo metal deposits. It is presumed that Al, Fe, Mn, and Si have also been introduced to form the garnet found.
Six Cu and/or Mo metal deposits of relative significance have been identified. All of them feature evidence of metallic metasomatism caused by the pluton. A Skarn/metalliferous hypothesis exists.
A hypothesis holds that this is a Skarn/metalliferous deposit, corroborated by a strategic geochemical analysis conducted in the district.
District and local surface geological studies have been performed; strategic geochemical prospection of rocks and soils was performed for Cu/Mo; 271 rock samples and 227 soil samples were taken, leading to the conclusion that this is a zone with high potential for prospecting.
There are none. Small scale mining exists around the district, extracting Cu ore as well as some carbonate mines.
Some 30 carbonate mines exist, running from north to south along the metamorphic calcium carbonate band, extracting white marble/limestone of varying degrees of purity. The potential tonnage of resources amounts to some 300 000 tons of inferred resources with extraction potential and some 1 000 000 tons of resources identified, 40% of which are estimated to have extraction potential, giving a total potential of over 700 000 tons of white limestone/marble with a CaCO3 content of at least 70%.
Six metal ore deposits with lower potential of some 300 to 700 and up to 7000 tons of copper ore have been identified. The La Cabra Mine, located in the district, possesses identified shallow resources of 78 000 tons of Cu/Mo ore.