Legislative Decree 119-2008 declared the zones of San
Andrés and Erandique (Lempira, Honduras) as reserve zones
for the exclusive exploitation, extract and trade of opal
–nonmetallic mineral- by inhabitants of that region.
German organizations interested in those zones, such as
Fundación de Comercio Justo de Minerales y Gemas,
Cooperación Técnica Alemana en Honduras (GIZ) and
recently Geo-Expert, have managed to promote the honduran opal in
the European Community, especially in Germany.
Professional workshops have been installed in Erandique for the
processing of opal which is turned into impressing gems and
precious stones out of the four main kind of opal that can be
produced: white opal, black opal, crystal and matrix.
The idea is to export the processed mineral in a near future. So
far almost 10 metric tons of rough opal has been exported to
Germany and Hong Kong. It could also be exported to India and
Thailand where some prominent buyers have shown interest in the
Honduras is one of the five countries around the world that has
authentic opal deposits together with Brazil, Australia, United
States and Ethiopia. Specialists say that matrix opal can also be
found in Australia while the crystal type can compete with the best
diamond, the black opal is one of the more fine stone with a very
high international demand and the white opal is very well known
around the globe.
In the mentioned zone there are four active mines out of which
almost 5 tons are extracted on a monthly basis and there are around
ten mines that remain inactive.
Honduras has an impressive potential in mining, not only of
nonmetallic minerals as the opal but also of zinc, copper and iron
which constitute metallic minerals.-
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