The deposit is located to the east of San Carlos de Bariloche city, Río Negro province, Argentina. The nearest city (8 km) is the Pilcaniyeu town, where there are gas stations, electricity, transport facilities like trucks and railroads, that allow a good connection with the Pacific harbor (Chile) and the Atlantic harbor (Puerto de San Antonio Este and Puerto Madryn).
The mine property covers 50 hectares.
The perlitic deposit belongs to a volcanic sequence originated during the upper Tertiary. Volcanic activity on the Nordpatagonic region, had originated volcanic domes of rhyolitic and andesite composition and many pyroclastic rocks.
The perlitic facies found on the deposit, are arranged in a sub horizontal layer and they form bodies of 20 meters thick. The reserves show a minimum of 800,000 tons. For the mineral extraction is important to mention that the modern overburden material thickness has less than 1 meter.
The perlite found at the deposit is characterized like vesicular, granular and onion-skin types.
Pilot tests were done in order to establish the level of expansion that the mineral can reach. The mineral was submitted to a temperature of 900 Cº on a vertical pilot furnace. The result showed that the expansion index was between 8 and 15 times:
Mineral quality is excellent by the lack of contaminant elements like arsenic, which permits it use like alimentary assistant filtering.
The chemical analysis done shows, for the mineral the next average contents and its comparison with others world famous deposits:
Comparative Table of Chemical Composition for different Perlite Deposits: