Mineral chemistry of In-bearing minerals in the Santa Fe mining district, Bolivia

Abigail Jiménez-Franco, Pura Alfonso, Carles Canet, Juan Elvys Trujillo


The Santa Fe mining district is located in the Central Andean tin belt of Bolivia and contains several Sn-Zn-Pb-Ag deposits. From the economic point of view, the most important deposits of the district are Japo, Santa Fe and Morococala. Beyond the traditional metal commodities, the Central Andean Tin Belt could become an exploration target for indium, owing to the potential of the ore-bearing paragenesis with high concentrations of this technology-critical element. In the Santa Fe mining district, the ore occurs as two main types: (a) Sn-rich cassiterite-quartz veins, and (b) Zn-Pb-Ag veins with sphalerite, galena and stannite mineral phases. The In content in igneous rocks is between 1.5 and 2.5 ppm, whereas in the ore concentrate it attains up to 200 ppm. The 1,000×In/Zn ratio in concentrate ranges from 25 up to 4,000. Exceptionally high In values were found in sakuraiite from Morococala deposit (2.03 wt%). Sakuraiite in this deposit shows evidences for a link between stannite and kësterite trend of solid solutions. There is a noteworthy exploration potential for strategic metals in this district and even in similar deposits elsewhere in the Central Andean tin belt.


Indium; Tin; Greisen; Stannite; Sakuraiite; Sulfosalts

How to cite this article Jiménez-Franco, A.; Alfonso, P.; Canet, C.; Trujillo, J. 2018, Mineral chemistry of In-bearing minerals in the Santa Fe mining district, Bolivia. Andean Geology 45 (3) : 410-432. [doi:]