Entrepreneurial Field Trips

This field trips are taken annually. They are designed to visit sites or mining districts which have been centers of prior or current entrepreneurial activity

Santa Lucia, Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico

 April 23, 2017

The fifth annual Entrepreneurial Field Trip was made on the weekend of April 23, 2017; a group of 8 students from CEGS set out on this event.  The situation was that the family of a student inherited part ownership to certain mineral claims near a town of San Pedro Corralitos, northeast of Casas Grandes, a city in northwestern Chihuahua State.  They knew very little about the site, but had some samples and assays.  Coarse galena with curved cleavage was visible and abundant, in a quartz/calcite matrix.  The situation appeared to be good potential for an entrepreneurial field trip.

 The Santa Lucia claim consists of 2 parallel quartz veins 200m in length and 1.5m wide, with a skarn to the north.  150 m to the south across broad alluvial cover is another larger zone with similar mineralization, but claimed by PeƱoles.  Detailed sampling was carried out on the 2 vein outcrops. CEGS will proceed to produce a professional report on the site, and future possibilities.

CEGS has been seeking geological field sites on which to carry out real field practice on targets that are partly buried. What is the geochemistry, geophysics, and geology of buried mineral deposits?  Santa Lucia is one such target in Mexico.

Pinos Altos

March 18 through March 24, 2017

The Pinos Altos deposit is located 200 km west of Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico.  It is an epithermal high sulfidation deposit.  It was developed and is operated by Alnico Eagle; as of December 31, 2016 Pinos Altos has proven and probable reserves containing 1.4 million ounces of gold and 38.1 million ounces of silver. UTEP CEGS & SEG Student Chapter arranged and carried out a visit to the deposit from March 18 through March 24, 2017.  The company kindly accommodated the 8 of us at their large camp.  The main mine and Moscotes were visited.  Geological presentations in the offices were excellent, and surface excursions were illustrative. A trip underground beneath the main mine open pit was the best of the experience, and a first for most of the participants.  There is nothing like an underground tour.  Exploration activities past the margins of known ore deposits were also visited.  Old prospects and marginal small mines guide the way. Topography presents a challenge.  Exploration extends to the northwest, and the mineralized veins follow mainly this direction, in the form of horsts and grabens.  This is a regional, young, structural grain.


Horizon City, Texas

 August 24, 2016

The fourth Annual CEGS Entrepreneurial Geosciences Field Trip was made on August 24, 2016. Twenty three people visited the Frac Sand deposit recently discovered by a UTEP alumnues Lloyd Krumery located north of Horizon city in eastern El Paso County, Texas.

Vision and risk taking has brought Lloyd to this point, and he is discovering millions of tons of high quality sand to be used for fracking in the oil industry.

On the past November 9, 2011, Lloyd spoke to our group at the second Geo-Incubator Lecture Series about his exploration, and now he guides us to his immense discovery!

Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico
July 11 through July 20, 2015
The third Annual CEGS Entrepreneurial Geosciences Field Trip was made on July 11 through July 20, 2015, and visited Batopilas and Satevo in southwest Chihuahua region.

Batopilas has a nearly 400 year history of discovery booms and busts. The Porfirio Diaz tunnel was opened for us, providing a unique view of the lower working of the Pastrana Mine. Sample acquisition for zircon studies also took place.

Several companies have explored in the area recently.

Palmerejo, El Sauzal, Chihuahua, Mexico

 June 21-27, 2014

The second of these field trips was made June 21-27, 2014, to the Palmerejo and El Sauzal deposits in Chihuahua state, Mexico. Modern discovery at Palmerejo was done by an Australian junior company, Bolnisi; discovery at El Sauzal was by a Canadian junior Francisco Gold in 1996, at a site with no previous work.

Palmerejo produced $500 million silver in 2013, and was the primary producer of Coeur, Inc. that year. Goldcorp is finishing production at El Sauzal after $2 billion gold.

Shafter, Silver Mine, Texas

April 26-29, 2013

The first of these field trips was made April 26-29, 2013, to the Shafter silver mine operated by Aurcana near Presidio, Texas.  The 100 year history of Shafter is one of repeated entrepreneurial activity, resulting in brief successes and multiple failures. Silver encapsulated in silica presents repeated metallurgy problem; companies fail to learn this from prior experience.

The Round Top Heavy Rare Earth Element deposit at Sierra Blanca of Texas Rare Earth Resources (TRER.com) was also visited. This is a story of present day innovative entrepreneurial activities.

This trip was held in collaboration with the UTEP student section of the Society of Economic Geologists.