LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The remains of an ancient silver mine in Peru’s Apush region were found and identified as being the remains of a gold mine, according to local government officials in the country’s northeastern Apurígana state.
The site was uncovered on Friday by a team of archeologists working for the Peruvian government’s Ministry of Culture, who were led by the archaeologist of the mining company that operated the gold mine at the time, according a statement from the state’s state archaeologist, Eduardo Cauza.
The excavation of the site was done by the Peruvians Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, which was responsible for the mine’s environmental protection.
The team found the remains in a mine shaft about 500 meters (1,600 feet) below the surface of the earth.
They said they found traces of silver and copper, the elements that are used to make silver bars.
The remains were taken to the regional government’s office of the regional chief archaeologist to be identified, Cauzas said.
The mine’s owners, Silver King Mines, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
The silver-mining company owned by Peru’s gold king was founded in the late 19th century and expanded rapidly after World War I to become one of the largest silver mines in the world.
It was shut down in 2006 after a mining accident in which workers died.
The mining company was acquired by Silver King Mining Co., which later merged with another company.
Silver King said in a statement on Saturday that it had not found any evidence of a mine collapse in the area, where it has operated since 1976.
“This has been verified by the government and we have not found the presence of any such material,” the company said.
In December, the US-based company agreed to pay $5.7 million to the U.S. government to compensate the miners’ families.
In addition to the mine, the U:S.
Geological Survey and the Peru-based Institute for Advanced Mining Research said in an April report that they had found evidence of “significant” copper deposits in the Apuridgüa area of the Apuíganas province.