Borborema Mineral Province
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Metal + Mineral 
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Brazil 2008

Assessment of investment opportunities in the minerals sector of Borborema Mineral Province, Rio Grande Do Norte State, Northest Region and Paraiba State. The region has an ecxellent potential for skarn hosted tungsten-(molybdenum-gold) mineralization, as well as for tantalum bearing pegmatites.

Click on thumbnails for high resolution pictures.





Barra Verde tailings operation:

Nomen est omen - our base, the “Tungstenio Hotel” with “Scheelita Bar” in Currais Novos.

The Barra Verde tailings and ancient ore treatment plant, seen from Mina Brejui.

The tungsten skarns were first mined in the 1940s, production continued until the 1980s.

The three main mines of the region have left more than 10 Mio tonnes of tailings @ 0.15 % WO3.


The Barra Verde tailings are being retreated by for their scheelite and molybdenite.

Close-up view of tailings with garnet, diopside, calcite, minor scheelite, pyrrhotite, pyrite, molybdenite and chalcopyrite.

Shaking table at Barra Verde.

Close-up view of shaking table, the white parts contain mainly scheelite, followed by a mixture of sulfides with appreciable amounts of scheelite.

Flotation cell at Barra Verde, the bluish black mineral is molybdenite.





Boca de Lage tailings:

Molybdenite concentrate

A particularly coarse grained scheelite concentrate.

The Boca de Lage tailings seem to contain less molybdenite, the scheelite contents are comparable to those of the other tailings.

Typical skarn ore with garnet, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite and minor scheelite.






Mina Brejui:

The Brejui Mine is the only tungsten mine in the region which is in continuous production since decades.

One of the entrances to the mine.

Underground workings at Brejui Mine.

Typical tungsten skarn ore with garnet, calcite, scheelite and diopside.



During the operation a shear zone hosted high grade copper mineralisation was encountered but was never mined.

Close-up view of secondary copper minerals that formed in the shaft.

Sample of high grade tungsten ore with ca. 3 % WO3, main minerals are garnet, diopside and scheelite.

Same sample as before under short wave ultraviolet light high-lighting the scheelite.

Due to its long operation time, the tailings of Mina Brejui are the most important of the area.






Cafuca Scheelite Mine:

Landscape between Cafuca Mine and Currais Novos

Entrance to the Cafuca Scheelite Mine

The mine was once run by Union Carbide, they produced approximately 40 t/month of WO3 concentrate.

At least 3 high grade ore shoots are known at Cafuca. This particular one contains some 3 % WO3.







Bodó Mine:

Close-up view of high grade ore with garnet, diopside and scheelite.

According to CPRM, the Brazilian Geological Survey, the main ore shoot contains some 1,300 t of WO3 (unspecified category).

This still producing underground mine produces scheelite concentrate from a prograde skarn

The ore mineralogy is fairly simple with scheelite, molybdenite, bornite and chalcopyrite.







Mina di Edilson, Paraiba State: 

Their tailings as well contain appreciable amounts of scheelite in the fines.

This highly differentiated pegmatite body contains several quartz nuclei. During the last tantalum boom, the mine produced mainly tantalite, now it produces mainly kaolinite.

Host rocks are quartzites of the Equador Formation.





Copper-gold- bismuth-silver pegmatite east of Parelhas, Rio Grande del Norte State:

A lepidolite rich zone rich in tantalite (Ta >> Nb).

Close-up view of tailings with quartz, white mica and lepidolite.

A quite uncommon zoned pegmatite (center of picture) carrying economic grades of Cu, Bi, Au and Ag.

Sample with secondary copper minerals (probably azurite and malachite) in coarse pegmatite.




Tantalum pegmatites between Santa Cruz and Currais Novos:

A particularly mica rich part of the pegmatite carrying secondary copper minerals.

Granophyric pegmatites are only locally mineralized.

The area around highway 427 is known for numerous columbite (Nb > Ta) bearing pegmatitic veins. The veins are 2 to 4 m wide and were mined down to depths of 15 - 20 m.

Host rocks are metasedimentary rocks of Proterozoic age. Drainages in the vicinity carry alluvial gold of unclear primary origin.