Inca Gold Mines: Yanacocha, Cajamarca, Peru
Cajamarca, Peru. Google Earth Satellite View.
word for Black lake) is a gold mine in northern Peru, considered one of the biggest and most profitable in the world producing over US$7 billion worth of gold to date. The 251-square kilometer open pit mine is situated about 30 kilometers (14km straight line) north of Cajamarca, in high pampa,
straddling the watershed. Yanacocha, is run by the
Newmont Mining Corporation, a Denver, Colorado-based
company that is the world’s largest gold mining firm.
Newmont is the major shareholder together with
Buenaventura, a Peruvian company.
Yanacocha is a complex of five open pit mines (Carachugo, Maqui Maqui, Yanacocha, San José and La Quinua), four leach pads, two gold recovery plants and a crushing and agglomeration facility.
The rock containing the gold is loosened by daily dynamite blasts, and then piled up and sprayed with cyanide solution. The solution that runs off is then processed to remove the gold.
Cajamarca is located in the northern highlands of Peru and is the capital of the Cajamarca region. It is approximately 2,700 m (8,900 ft) above sea level and has a population of about 135,000 people. Cajamarca has an equatorial climate so it is mild, dry and sunny, which creates very fertile soil. The city is well-known for its cheeses and dairy products.
Cajamarca is also known for its churches, and hot springs, or Inca Baths. There are also several active mining sites in surrounding areas. Most of all, Peruvians remember Cajamarca as the place where the Inca Empire came to an end;. In 1532 the Spanish conquistador Pizarro captured the last Inca emperor
Atahualpa. The emperor gave a ransom of a roomful of gold for his release but Pizarro killed him anyway.
Incan Treasure story.
Eight billion dollars' worth of Inca gold and silver are rumored to be hidden in an unmapped region of the Andes. This is the captivating story of that fabled treasure and the centuries-old spell it has cast on many, including a young American student, Peter Lourie.
While completing anthropological fieldwork in Ecuador,
Lourie heard the legend of Atahualpa's ransom. The Incas gathered seven-hundred tons of gold (Sweat of the Sun) and silver (Tears of the Moon) to purchase the freedom of their king, Atahualpa, from Pizarro and his conquistadors. After the Inca ruler's murder, the treasure vanished into the forsaken Llanganati range of the Andes.
Book "Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon: A Chronicle of an Incan Treasure"
by Peter Lourie.