Garimpos na região de Jacobina, Estado da Bahia


  • Henrique Cáper Alves de Sousa


In this article enginer CÁPER DE SousA, of the National Department of Mineral Production, studies gold mining in the Jacobina region of the State of Baía.

            The rich gold-bearing zone surveyed by the author is located in a ramification of Chapada Diamantina. In its centre there is a settlement of gold seekers called Maravilha, a village developed through the expansion of mining and the influx of miners. The place is of modest constructions having a more or Iess unstable population, a busy life during day-time and is restlessly gay at night.

            The two lodes which are being worked, - both lying along and entering the hill while sectioning the vertical quartzites -, are located on the foot of a large and strong thick wall uncovered by erosion on the Jacobina hill. The author makes the geological description of this hill and points out the white quartzites, these merging almost vertically, and the soft schists.             Placer mining, in many parts of Brazil, mainly in Minas Gerais, is still an empirical process and gold is extracted by primitive methods. The work, which is for the most done by the poorer population now being attracted by the rise of gold and by the liberty given to mineral prospecting under the Code of Mines, is nothing more than a washing in the alluvials of the river beds. In Jacobina, while the work conforms to prevailing environmental conditions which the author describes, the exploitation of the !odes is carried in the same way, and "thousands of miners, some of them semi-professionals of the placers, others farmers driven to the top of the mountains by the thirst hiting the inland regions, men and women, are, in spite of being humble people, predominant factors in the development of Brazilian placers and the national output of gold".