It all started with a legend reported by early explorers returning from Americas.
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.
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.
Working in such an environment is a daily challenge to one's organization, abilities and determination.
Many years later, I feel confident. I know how to thrive in this world.
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 a 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 limited resources and unlimited will.
Rafal Swiecki, geological engineer email contact
This document is in the public domain.