an update on the mine El Naranjal

lilorphanannie

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Apr 19, 2008
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The state of Durango is one of the most mineralized areas in the country of Mexico. It is also one of the most difficult to reach many of the earliest mines as access to those worked prior to the 1900’s was by mule trail and the ore was packed out by mule train. Infrastructure is still undeveloped in many places and never will be as there doesn’t exist any logical reason to build roads through this mountainous /canyon country, so many of these mines are lost due to their lack of accessibility as lost in memory. Such is the case of the mine known popularly as Él Naranjal’. And as legend tells us it is almost impossible to reach. Well, if you know where to research and are able to read Spanish the true story about El Naranjal is readily attainable, and if you have a good mule and local guide, and a good “pomada” anyone can go directly to it. The following is a very condensed and loose translation from local historical archives on record in the municipality where El Naranjal is located. ///// A indigenous (native) brought a single stone to show to the local mission priest, the priests name was Fr. Jose Ignacio Garibay. After examining the stone is was identified as containing gold. The priest formed a group and registered the mine under the name “La Garibaya”. The local Indians were enslaved, the actual translation from the historical records state that the Indians rendered their services free of charge. And they worked under the “Faena “system. I know the modern definition for ‘Faena “but not this particular definition. At any rate the mine was incredibly rich, all production was done with hand tools and slave labor. It goes on to say that from the taxes paid from the mines production the Zambrano Palace was built. This is the governor’s palace in downtown Durango, Dgo, a very impressive building to say the least. You can google it and check out the images. It is not known how long the mine was worked as many of the records were lost in a fire in 1810 when the community was attacked by Spanish troops. A short time later the Indians rebelled and in the attack Father Garibay was killed by an arrow in what was known as the Los Tepalcates incident. After this the mining activity was reduced to locals working in primitive fashion until little by little the area mines were left idle. There were ten mines in all being worked in the area. The very last paragraph of this archive states that the mine officially as El Garibay was known locally as El Naranjal from the beginning and after the death of the original owner took over as the recognized name. ////// I am 100% convinced that the Garibay mine is the El Naranjal mine known in the treasure writings. I have researched this not only through this historical document but also by backtracking the tax records both which indicate that the Garibay and the El Naranjal mine are one and the same. The area was initially chosen by the Spanish for settlement for its climate and abundance of native fruits growing in the area as well as facility of growing criolla fruits. Hence the local name for the mine El Naranjal.//// I would think the dumps for this mine could be very high grade although no one apparently has evaluated them or a good dump for metal detecting.
 

J.A.A.

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Thank you for that Lilorphanannie......Very interesting!! More please!
Thank you in advance.

All the best-
JA
 

Nov 8, 2004
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Hi my friend Orphan Annie: You know that Durango at that time encompassed Chihuahua, and other present day states etc. 'the interdependencie of Durango.. Later in 1823 it was reduced to the present state of Durango.etc. This has confused many searchers.
 

Oroblanco

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The state of Durango is one of the most mineralized areas in the country of Mexico. It is also one of the most difficult to reach many of the earliest mines as access to those worked prior to the 1900’s was by mule trail and the ore was packed out by mule train. Infrastructure is still undeveloped in many places and never will be as there doesn’t exist any logical reason to build roads through this mountainous /canyon country, so many of these mines are lost due to their lack of accessibility as lost in memory. Such is the case of the mine known popularly as Él Naranjal’. And as legend tells us it is almost impossible to reach. Well, if you know where to research and are able to read Spanish the true story about El Naranjal is readily attainable, and if you have a good mule and local guide, and a good “pomada” anyone can go directly to it. The following is a very condensed and loose translation from local historical archives on record in the municipality where El Naranjal is located. ///// A indigenous (native) brought a single stone to show to the local mission priest, the priests name was Fr. Jose Ignacio Garibay. After examining the stone is was identified as containing gold. The priest formed a group and registered the mine under the name “La Garibaya”. The local Indians were enslaved, the actual translation from the historical records state that the Indians rendered their services free of charge. And they worked under the “Faena “system. I know the modern definition for ‘Faena “but not this particular definition. At any rate the mine was incredibly rich, all production was done with hand tools and slave labor. It goes on to say that from the taxes paid from the mines production the Zambrano Palace was built. This is the governor’s palace in downtown Durango, Dgo, a very impressive building to say the least. You can google it and check out the images. It is not known how long the mine was worked as many of the records were lost in a fire in 1810 when the community was attacked by Spanish troops. A short time later the Indians rebelled and in the attack Father Garibay was killed by an arrow in what was known as the Los Tepalcates incident. After this the mining activity was reduced to locals working in primitive fashion until little by little the area mines were left idle. There were ten mines in all being worked in the area. The very last paragraph of this archive states that the mine officially as El Garibay was known locally as El Naranjal from the beginning and after the death of the original owner took over as the recognized name. ////// I am 100% convinced that the Garibay mine is the El Naranjal mine known in the treasure writings. I have researched this not only through this historical document but also by backtracking the tax records both which indicate that the Garibay and the El Naranjal mine are one and the same. The area was initially chosen by the Spanish for settlement for its climate and abundance of native fruits growing in the area as well as facility of growing criolla fruits. Hence the local name for the mine El Naranjal.//// I would think the dumps for this mine could be very high grade although no one apparently has evaluated them or a good dump for metal detecting.

Great post LilOrphanAnnie, thank you for sharing it! Also thank you for saving me a lot of expense, gas, time and trouble, will not be making that trip to Sinaloa after all. So we can now safely cross El Naranjal off the list. :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :thumbsup:

Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.
Oroblanco

:coffee2:
 

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lilorphanannie

lilorphanannie

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I was completely satisfied with the information posted above calling it a closed case but just yesterday I obtained additional info, or at least a slight variation with more detail of the same story, which I will add on here as all of us are in pursuit of the truth as much as we can find anyway. It does not affect the outcome but clarifies some points. It seems that the mine called el Naranjal was part of a group of mines known collectively as la Garibaya, but there were actually 14 mines ,all in and very close to one another. They were the : La Garibaya, La Puerta, Animas de Guadalupe, San Patricio, San Antonio de Animas, Los Limones, Plomosas, La Colorada, San Diego, Jocuixtle, La Jarocha, Metates, Tepixte y El Naranjal. The two most famous for production were the Garabaya and el Naranjal. All metal produced was shipped and taxes paid were under the registered name for the group La Garibaya. All of the mines were part of the same mineral structure with the exception of one and that was El Naranjal. It was /is located slightly to the west of the rest and at the bottom of the barranca at river level. It is located on rio el Naranjo(oranges) and by a ranchito El Naranjo. It is abandonded and according to the geologist who did a reconnaissance of the area for the mapping agency it is flooded being at or below the water table. It was the only gold producer of the group and an oxidized outcrop probably with whats called surface enrichment that initially produces very rich ore. The mine is now listed on the geological maps as la Espanola. I am pasting a section of that map below ,hopefully it will be readable. DSC01920.JPG
 

Oroblanco

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I was completely satisfied with the information posted above calling it a closed case but just yesterday I obtained additional info, or at least a slight variation with more detail of the same story, which I will add on here as all of us are in pursuit of the truth as much as we can find anyway. It does not affect the outcome but clarifies some points. It seems that the mine called el Naranjal was part of a group of mines known collectively as la Garibaya, but there were actually 14 mines ,all in and very close to one another. They were the : La Garibaya, La Puerta, Animas de Guadalupe, San Patricio, San Antonio de Animas, Los Limones, Plomosas, La Colorada, San Diego, Jocuixtle, La Jarocha, Metates, Tepixte y El Naranjal. The two most famous for production were the Garabaya and el Naranjal. All metal produced was shipped and taxes paid were under the registered name for the group La Garibaya. All of the mines were part of the same mineral structure with the exception of one and that was El Naranjal. It was /is located slightly to the west of the rest and at the bottom of the barranca at river level. It is located on rio el Naranjo(oranges) and by a ranchito El Naranjo. It is abandonded and according to the geologist who did a reconnaissance of the area for the mapping agency it is flooded being at or below the water table. It was the only gold producer of the group and an oxidized outcrop probably with whats called surface enrichment that initially produces very rich ore. The mine is now listed on the geological maps as la Espanola. I am pasting a section of that map below ,hopefully it will be readable. View attachment 1256938

Another great post LilOrphanAnnie! :thumbsup: However this does raise some doubts. For one, as far as we know, only ONE other mine is ever mentioned as being "near" El Naranjal, that is Juana del Arco. No mention of any other mines that I am aware of. And there is no mine by that name mentioned here. Could this be another case of that Mexican habit of using the same danged names, over and over and over again, as happened with Tayopa? I am thinking perhaps yes, as there among that list we see a Plomosas mine mentioned and I know of at least two others with that exact same name.

An interesting article (online) which was quite difficult for me as I do not speak Spanish, but interesting:
EL SALTO PUEBLO NUEVO DURANGO

Please do continue! :thumbsup:

:coffee: :coffee2: :coffee2: :coffee2:
 

Nov 8, 2004
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Yeah, why not Oro? p.s. that was mentioned with my tongue in my cheek, not to be taken seriously. Just to show how many legends can be misinterpreted. where the same basic data applies,

But as for El Naranjal being located West of the Tayopa complex, ( state ,of Durango ) it fits every criteria, Except ====?? :occasion14: Perhaps Juana de Arco is one of the un-named other mines in the area also?

Give with details of Juana De Arco.
 

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lilorphanannie

lilorphanannie

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I agree that there is and always will be some doubt. i read the piece that oro blanco attached in spanish. it looks to be excerpted from the same historlcal records i read and essentially says the same thing, that la garibaya and el naranjal are one and the same. but the additional info i posted later and the map ,plus the metadata geological report from the mining agency lead me to think that the mine called la espanola is the original el naranjal. which was part of the garibaya group of mines. "close "is of course relative and el naranjal is close as the crow flies but probably not that close walking on the trails. the juana de arco i am told was the original mine which was the reason for the real de san diego, now a ghost town just north of the garibaya group of mines and also mentioned in the piece you sent me to read in spanish. that mine and the real apparently predate the garibay group of mines by some length of time ,how long i dont know. the abandoned real is much more interesting than the el naranjal mine in my opinion. the local people and local historians say that the garibay mine is the el naranjal mine, i side with the geologist that per his information(co ordinates) the la espanola is the former el naranjal mine and the confusion is that there were a group of mines and not just one. also everything about the la espanola fits precisely with the description we find in popular lore.
 

gollum

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Hey Amy. Good to see you back!

I only have one issue with the story as told;

1. Since the early 13th Century, it had been a steadfast rule handed down by every King of Spain that no "Religiosos o Clerigos" were allowed to mine. The specific Ecclesiastical Precept was:

Rule #4. No one will work mines. This includes the prohibition that no one will have any knowledge about the matter of mining, either directly or indirectly. The intention of the precept is to include all forms of knowledge or interpretations that could even fall within the same precept.

So, there is no way that there were any taxes paid from these mines. The reason for the rule/precept was because (at least in the 17th Century) the King of Spain was paying the Jesuits 200 pesos per year per Missionary Priest. He was also paying for a lot of expenses for the Jesuits. That is why they weren't allowed to run businesses for profit or have anything to do with mining.

Mike
 

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lilorphanannie

lilorphanannie

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Iam not a treasure hunter , but a mining consultant in mexico and do quite a bit of research. Occasionally I come across some of information that I think might be helpful to someone on this forum.. Personally I cant fathom why anyone would pursue a lost mine story such as the lost mine called el naranjal. Being a miner ,and with so many real opportunities to work proven properties I just cant see spending time and money to search for a story tale . at any rate the point of passing on this bit of info is that according to the local historian and remaining documents on record in the office of the president (mayor) for the municipality of pueblo Nuevo, dgo and verbal communication with a geologist who explored the area. The mine el naranjal is in their community. And has never been lost at least to them. So if one wants to believe those people and the written history they have for their community this should suffice and ,I passed that summary on to the interested readers. Since the final objective of the search is to locate the mine el naranjal ,and to the satisfaction of some myself included that objective has been realized ,it is incidental whether or to whom the taxes were paid. But it is on record in the state of Durango, the historical archives that the Zambrano Palace was built and paid for by the Zambrano family via the production from their mines and chiefly the mine known as el naranjal. The Zambrano’s held about a dozen mines and were the richest family in Durango. They took over the operation of the mine El Naranjal after the demise of Father Garibay and worked the Naranjal mine to its depletion.those records are on disc now both the state and church if anyone is interested. Father Garibay is well known in Durango history and the principle mine still bears his name. he is registered as the original owner and then mr Zambrano, maybe this helps.
 

Oroblanco

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Well to address ONE of the points you mentioned, as to WHY anyone would bother to go hunting for a "story tale" lost mine, I can answer part of that.

For one thing, more than one lost mine that most skeptics consider to be "story tale" type, have been found and have made people rich. The Silver King for instance, was for some years just a barroom tale, with NO maps, NO records, NO ore specimens of any kind, only a story that a guy had found some interesting heavy black rock, out in the hills away from what became the town of Pinal. Four men heard this tale and went searching for this outcrop of black rock, that had flattened when hammered, and discovered or re-discovered the Silver King, now famous for the amount of silver it produced. So the fact that we may have only a "story tale" today, is NO reason to believe that the mine, or ledge, or vein, or hidden placer does NOT exist, only that it has not been found again.

Then there is that plenitude of known mines you referred to, if you have been researching them then you are well aware that in most known gold districts, virtually all of the old and known mines are currently under active mining claims, so that nothing is left open for a prospector to explore. In fact even many adjoining areas around known gold or silver mines, often with little precious metals to encourage development of a mine, are likewise held locked up in mining claims under various owners. Plus with the many millions of acres of "wilderness areas", national monuments, wildlife refuges etc the options open to prospectors, at least in the US, are greatly reduced from what they were even thirty years ago.
Most "story tale" lost mines are reported as being quite rich, which as you know is not really unusual for rich and small in size deposits, "pockets" if you will, to exist; these are not too attractive to large mining companies because of the small extent of the deposits, however are just the right kind of mine to find and develop for small operators, "mom-n-pop" if you like. I have seen 67 ounces of gold panned out of less than a couple of wheelbarrow loads from a small pocket in a stream bed that had been mined out in the Yukon, and used to know a fellow that had moved a large boulder and became a millionaire on the gold he found under it. In fact his family owns a television network today. So while the odds are long of ever finding a lost mine, the payoff can be large, at least large in terms for the mom-n-pop type operators. As you have been working for large mining companies, it is a different mindset, looking for deposits large enough and economically promising enough for the large company to mine successfully, rather than small, "pocket" type deposits that would be a bonanza to one or two people but for a large company would hardly pay the operating costs for a month.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of several other once-famous lost mines, that have been found, like Tayopa (Don Jose can vouch for this) or the Breyfogle, now known as the Amargosa mine, or the Goler diggings in CA, or the Mojave mine near Quartzsite, AZ Few of these had solid evidence to prove they existed until they were found. It may seem like a total waste of your time to go searching for a lost mine, however the fact that someone does go and actively search, greatly increases their chance of finding something valuable, if not necessarily the lost mine you were hunting for. Quite a few rich mines have been found by people searching for a famous or not-so-famous lost mine, which was not the one they sought but still produced gold or silver for them.

It IS helpful to know when a lost mine has been found too, as it saves us from wasting time, money and/or effort hunting for a mine that is not even lost. Hunting for lost mines and-or buried treasures is definitely NOT for everyone, if you are the type that needs "proven" reserves and quick returns on investment, or are easily discouraged, I would highly recommend NOT looking for a lost mine. Besides the long odds, one must also face skepticism and even ridicule, even at times from within our own families. Someone does still need to find those mineral deposits and then prove them, for the mining companies to be interested so there is still a need for prospectors.

If I seem overly skeptical of your identification of the Garibay mine as El Naranjal, it is due to the fact that we have SO many people come on treasure forums wanting to claim the honors and glory for having been the person to rediscover a famous lost mine. In fact this happens with such regularity that as one example, over 200 people have claimed to have found the LDM, in 200 different places, and of course with a single mysterious exception, all have NO gold to show for it. We have yet to see any gold from this Garibay mine, although production records would probably do for me, some would not be satisfied with that. Another sticking point is in the name itself, if this mine were named the Garibay, why was it named that instead of continuing to call it El Naranjal? Could it be that it was never El Naranjal? However if this can be proven to be El Naranjal, then we can scratch that lost mine off the list, and not waste another moment on it. The historians can pursue the story from there.

You did present a fairly compelling case amigo, I DO appreciate it, and I was aware that link I posted was telling pretty much the same tale. However questions remain, enough that I am no longer ready to scratch el Naranjal off the list. Especially since we know that Mexican miners had a habit of naming mines with the same or very similar names over the centuries. Quien sabe? :dontknow:

:coffee2::coffee2::coffee2:
 

gollum

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Roy,

Even better is the story of a guy named Charles Maclaren. The following is a parsed post (say that five times fast) from Ron Feldman's Forum:

Charles MacLaren.jpeg

The city of Troy disappeared about 3000 years ago. For 2700 years, not one person could find ANY trace of the existence of the fabled city. The Greek Poets wrote many stories about Troy and the exploits of so many great heroes and people like they were real. All of the accumulated minds of academia said that the Greek Stories were just that. Fables designed to teach a lesson. Troy (from Greek Mythology) never really existed. Charles Maclaren thought otherwise. He was subjected to the ridicule of his colleagues, but he persisted. When he determined that Troy lay on the hill of Hissarlik in Turkey. HE WAS CORRECT! Everybody said he was wasting his time. After he wrote his book "A dissertation on the topography of the plain of Troy" in 1822, a gentleman came along who also faced scorn and ridicule for believing in the existence of Troy. His name was Heinrich Schliemann. Through all the professional hassles he endured, he kept at it and found the rich hoard of Troy (part of which is the famous Golden Mask of Agamemnon).

mask.JPG

So, El Naranjal, Tayopa, Lost Dutchman are all relative late comers. People walked over the ruins of the great Greek City of Troy for almost 2700 years, and never had any idea what was beneath their feet. The Dutchman is only 125 years old. Give it some time. HAHAHA

Mike
 

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Nov 8, 2004
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Oro, I have pointed out the general location of Naranjal. Now it is up to you to go find it's actual location.

A rich gold mine, located at the bottom of a deep barrancs, that was worked by a Spaniard in the early 1800s, has mined gold ore and bars stored in a cave etc. This up to you to actually locate it. One clue is a drill rod driven into the rock at the top of an inaccesable cliff area , obviously to attach a rope to. ===---- It has been found once by Benito, a guayagiro indian who used to cut off chunks from a bar when he needed money, now dead.

You can drive to a point overloking the area

I would suggest a good geochemical kit. This is all yours my friend, if you want it.:laughing7::laughing7::laughing7:

Appologies to Lil Orphan Annies, another case of duplicate names.





P.S. I can't find a like for your post on Troy Mike, so consider it said. 'like'
 

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Shortfinger

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So, I'm going to bring up what I consider an interesting coincidence here.

It seems that the "Garibaya" group consists of 14 mines in close proximity all in the same mineral structure, with a very rich gold mine, "El Naranjal" not in the same mineral structure as the others. It is located west of the others, and is at the bottom of a barranca.

The "Tayopa" group consists of 17? (Don Jose, please confirm, this is what I dug out of the Tayopa thread, but I may be wrong) mines in close proximity, all in the same mineral structure, except for a very rich gold mine, located west of the others at the bottom of a barranca.....

Interesting coincidence, no? We won't even go into the oranges at both gold mines....

:coffee2::coffee2::icon_scratch::coffee2::coffee2:

JB
 

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