Green hell in red world

ALLUVIAL EXPLORATION & MINING
PHOTOGEOLOGY | SEISMIC SURVEY | BANKA DRILLING | MANAGEMENT | TRAINING

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GOLD
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Gold Geology
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Gold History
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DIAMONDS
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  exploration
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Diamonds History
  mining history
  large and famous
Precious Stones
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ALLUVIAL EXPLORATION
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BANKA Alluvial Drills
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  HAND drills
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  tools 1
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  MOTOR drills

ALLUVIAL MINING
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Pipes, Hoses, etc.
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la version française - la version française la versíon española - la versíon española

EL DORADO

Rafal Swiecki in Brazil, Summer 1990.

It all started with a legend reported by early explorers returning from Americas.
For me it started many years ego in South American jungle.

After exploring in North America, I earned for a change. I wanted to discover uncharted areas, to walk where no other geologist walked before, to discover unknown lands. I wanted to see the world through the eyes of Sir Walter Raleigh, Francisco de Orellana, Alexander Mackenzie...

Precambrian Shield of Guiana, in South America, attracted my attention. The mythical land of El Dorado - the golden man who once a year covered himself with gold dust during summer solstice.

In North America, I was familiar with the geology of Precambrian deposits, but a tropical setting changed quickly my perception. I had to learn again.

The tropical geology is characterized by lateritic erosion processes, deep saprolitic profiles, and quasi-total lack of outcrops.
Jungle is a green wall with spikes, stinging "things" and swampy ground. One lives in a perpetual state of humidity which rotes peoples, shoes, clothes, instruments and food.
The drainage water, saturated with iron hydroxides and humic acids, corrodes even a stainless steel and liquefy the belly. Red mud is everywhere...

Body is a blood bag permanently subjected to malaria, typhoid, and fungus attacks. Piranhas, electric eels, stingrays and himaras populate rivers and creeks. Thousands of aggressive boars tramp the land. A dangerous bushmaster snake stalks on the land and himaralli snake in the water.
Tiny airstrips, hand hacked in a "green carpet" stretching to horizon, are a challenge to bush pilots. Passengers can only hope for the best. Where river or creek beds are obstructed by rocks, or dead wood, one must take to trails meandering around fallen trees. Often only visible to a trained eye, these trails go for hours, days, weeks...

Working in such an environment is a daily challenge to one's organization, abilities and determination.
The Murphy's Law is at work, gnawing at all plans and time tables.
A lack of infrastructure, unqualified work force, and daily difficulties debug managerial skills. It is a "green-hell-in-a-red-mud-world", a perfect school of character and skills.

Now, many years later, I feel confident. I know how to thrive in this world.
My eyes read the land looking at vegetation, recognize the bedrock from a color of soil, spot a diamond, or a gold bearing gravel. I know the complex network of trails between Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. Now, I know how to get the best from the local workers, and how to spot the trouble before it gets in the way.

My method of assessing alluvial reserves was perfected. Professional literature on alluvial exploration offers a little help. Geostatistic was created after the golden era of alluvials. I was lucky to have the world authority, as a professor of geostats at Poly in Montreal. To guide sampling, a shallow seismic locates paleochannels. To mine in a virgin territory, one has to construct roads, airstrips, camps, and equipment with the limited resources and the unlimited will.


Related links: The Management Professional Profile Professional Service


Seismic Survey 


Rafal Swiecki, geological engineer email contact

This document is in the public domain.

March, 2011