Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mormon’s Abridgement Part XVII – We Did Find Upon the Land of Promise – Part V

Continued from the previous post, which covered the third of four critical descriptions by Nephi outlining the four specific areas that he wrote about finding in the precise area of their first landing (1 Nephi 18:24-25)—not elsewhere in the Land of Promise, but specifically adjacent to their immediate landing site. 
    The first three of these—suitable landing site, Mediterranean Climate, and large forest—were covered in the previous three posts. The fourth and final point is covered in this post.
    4. All manner of ore, including gold, silver and copper.
    In La Serena, adjacent to Coquimbo Bay, as mentioned in the previous post, there are and were huge forests of at least five tree species indigenous to that area. As an example, the Valdivian forest of Chile is a multiple ecosystems in the immense Fray Jorge National Park along Route 5 in La Serena, Chile, and includes Valdivian forests overflowing with ferns and cinnamon trees, and is home to the majestic Alerce tree, which can reach heights of 377 feet, and live for more than 3000 years, along with a variety of species including eagles, pumas and guanacos (wild parent of the llama).
The evergreen sclerophyllous forests, woodlands or scrub, mixed mountain and highland systems of the forest today include almost all of the Mediterranean species typical of Chile. The one-time multitude of indigenous animals that once thrived in the forest are just about gone today, the area given over to grazing and agriculture in the buffer zones, including the farming of potatoes, paprika and beans. Human interaction and tourism having driven away the wild animals, such as the pudu (a small deer), boar, minks, weasels, skunks, armadillos, opossums, monkey, foxes, coatimundi, guanaco, vicuna, chinchilla, squirrel, and numerous bats, rats and mice, along with several small wild cat varieties and the mountain lion or puma.
The Andean (Red and Zorro) Fox is one of the few wild animals left in the Fray Jorge forest because of human intrusion
    In addition to finding a forest full of domestic type and wild animals, Nephi wrote about finding as he journeyed around his new home area that it was filled with all manner of ores. In fact, a little later he tells us that he “did teach [his] people how to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance” (2 Nephi 5:15). Since this was written after he had separated himself from the area of their first landing and traveled many days northward, it tells us that not only in the place of first landing, but also in the area of the city of Nephi, he found “all manner of ore.”
    So starting in the area of First Landing, we know he found gold, silver and copper (1 Nephi 18:25). This ore would have been easily accessible since he talked about finding it journeying in the wilderness around the area of where they came ashore and pitched their tents.
    Adjacent to the this area of Lehi’s landing site, only a few miles from La Serena, is the The Topado quartz-vein gold ore deposit located in the IV region of Chile, about 500 kilometers North of Santiago. The deposit is linked to the nearest city of La Serena with a freeway (18 miles) and a country road (up to 6 miles), available for use throughout the entire year.
    The deposit area is confined to the mountain system of the Coastal Cordillera and is defined by a low mountain and medium altitude mountain relief. The maximum altitude does not exceed 400 feet above sea level. Most of the gold-carrying ore bodies are found in the 550-800 altitude interval. The deposit is confined to the left shore of the river Talca – the main watercourse in this area. The aforementioned river is the left tributary of the Elqui river. The Talca valley and its tributaries' valleys remain dry through most of the year and are filled with water to some extent only in the winter. Some river valley areas contain underground waters sufficient for household use by the local population, as well as for use in ore-processing equipment (in the lower Talca valley). These waters reach the surface, for example, near the source of the Topado creek.
    While Arizona is the largest copper producer in the United States, followed by Utah, New Mexico, Montana and Nevada, far more dominant than the U.S., is the mining production of copper in Chile, the world’s leading producer of copper, with Peru next. Chile is fourth in the world in untapped gold reserves, after Russia, but ahead of the U.S. Ore in Chile contains high levels of gold, silver and copper.
    About a half mile south of Coquimbo is an old fishing cove and copper smelting area which dates back to the Spanish. Today it is an attractive tourist beach resort  which features day campsites, a yacht club, hotels, cottages and other tourist services. Its warm and gentle waters make this beach ideal to have a bath and practice water sports such as windsurfing and diving, among others. Numerous old mining sites are honeycombed all over the area where the Spanish extracted and smelted huge amounts of gold, silver and copper to send back to Spain.

In this map area showing La Serena and Coquimbo at the top, there are 15 active Copper, gold and Iron mines in what is called the Coquimbo District; with another 7 mines barely across the district border; these include copper, gold and silver; Tamaya, the furthest mine shown, is 34 miles south of La Serena, about a two day journey, and comprises 6,890 hectares of mining and exploration concessions within the Mediterranean Climate where work all year round is possible. It was first mined in 1605 and has been worked up to the 19th century, when it peaked between 1850 and 1890 when 39 separate companies worked copper mines in this immediate reserve
    Andacollo produces copper and gold; Dayton and El Dorado both produce gold; El Romeral produces iron; and Penuicillo and Cocinera both produce copper. To the north of La Serena, is the unusual mine called Escondida, which produces “both gold, and silver, and copper” (1 Nephi 18:25). That is, the single ore in the mine contains all three metals—both gold and silver, as precious metals, and copper as a non-precious metal, as Nephi states he found. This Escondida ore measured out at 1,450,100 tons of copper; 116,300 tons of gold; and 139,000 ounces of silver. There are, by the way, very few places in the Western Hemisphere where all three metals are found in single ore, i.e., in the same ore reserves, yet several of these type mines are found in Chile very close to the area where Lehi landed.
Three more gold-silver-copper mines are located beyond La Serena (blue arrow), about a day’s journey (20 miles) along the Elqui River (red arrow), called the Inesita, Marianita, and Paguanta mines, and another a handful of miles further, called the Carmelita
Around the vicinity of Lehi’s Landing site at Coquimbo Bay, La Serena, there are numerous mines. The one labeled Coquimbo, consumes 1964 GWh of electricity, with copper mining using 53% of consumption (a very large mine), only two mines produce more in northern Chile. It might be of interest to know that Chile is the Number One producer of copper in the world, with 33% of the world’s market
    And since Nephi says, after settling in the city of Nephi, which would have been in the vicinity of Cuzco, that they had plentiful amounts of these ores, it should be recognized that Peru is also a world leader in Copper, Gold and Silver.
The fifth most prolific gold mine in the world, and the largest gold mine in Latin America, is Yanacocha (Peru), which covers about 60 square miles, producing more than 26 million ounces of gold in 18 years
    As a result of these past four posts, we should recognize that Nephi describes 1) how he got to his landing site, which is easily traceable with the winds and sea currents, and 2) what he found in that immediate area of his landing site. And those four descriptions are quite clear and easily traceable to a location today, and include: 1) a suitable landing site for a 600 B.C. sailing ship, and a place to dwell nearby suitable for a new colony of about 50 people or more, including ample fresh water; 2) a place to plant seeds from Jerusalem that would grow exceedingly and provide an abundant crop; 3) have a large enough forest close by where both wild and domestic animals could have lived; and 4) all manner of ore, including gold silver and copper at the place of their landing site.
    Therefore, any location for the Land of Promise must have a landing site that contains these four descriptive facts—this means in the specific area of landing, not somewhere else in the land.
    The only place in the entire Western Hemisphere (including Malay Peninsula in Indonesia) that matches these four descriptions (as well as all the other descriptions Mormon provided us) is the 30º south latitude on the Chilean west coast, an area today called Coquimbo Bay and La Serena.

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