Inspenet, September 23, 2023.
The parties involved in the reactivation of the Hierro Indio mine in Malargüe, Argentina were very satisfied after the first phase of exploration, which yielded highly encouraging results.
During this phase, 41 drilling holes were carried out with an average depth of 60 meters, for a total of 2,480 meters drilled. According to estimates, the iron ore production potential would reach around 5 million tons .
This discovery has the potential to make Mendoza a determining player in the substitution of imports of the aforementioned mineral in a period of between 15 and 20 years, which predicts a promising future for the mining industry in Malargüe. The mining exploitation area covers an area of 3,000 km 2 and is located near El Sosneado, near the Atuel River.
According to the statement issued by the Government of Mendoza, the first phase of advanced exploration at Hierro Indio concluded successfully, offering promising prospects for both Mendoza and Argentina and highlighting the absence of incidents. This joint campaign, carried out in collaboration between PRC SAU and Hierro Indio SA, had the participation of the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) and managed to complete a total of 2,480 meters of drilling, distributed in 41 wells with an average depth of 60 meters. each.
Indian iron offers new possibilities
Of all the samples collected in the process, a total of 1,407 were selected for analysis. These were sent to the Alex Stewart geochemical and environmental analysis laboratory, located in Maipú, Mendoza. The results of this initial phase revealed the presence of at least 5 million tons of metallic iron in this area alone . This resource is currently imported by Argentina.
This discovery opens the door to the possibility of establishing a mine in Malargüe that could significantly reduce the need to import mineral for a period ranging between 15 and 20 years.
The majority of the mineral identified in the project corresponds to the mineralogical variety of magnetite, which confirms the viability of the iron production process using magnetic methods, as had been planned in the development of the mine.
It should be noted that this mine had remained inactive since the 1970s and the Government of Mendoza developed a plan to reactivate it. In 2019, the Legislature approved the Environmental Impact Statement (DIA), following the provisions of Law 7722. Before obtaining this declaration, the project went through an environmental evaluation that included technical analysis carried out by a team from the Faculty of Sciences Applied to Industry of the National University of Cuyo.
Finally, in 2022, an agreement was formalized between the state company Potasio Río Colorado (PRC) and Hierro Indio SA (HISA) to reactivate the mine. To begin these works, the repair of roads was carried out by the Provincial Road Directorate (DPV) and the construction of canals and water tanks for the local community.