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Open AccessArticle

Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment of the “El Sexmo” Tourist Gold Mine (Zaruma, Ecuador) as A Geosite and Mining Site

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Centro de Investigaciones y Proyectos Aplicados a las Ciencias de la Tierra (CIPAT), ESPOL Polytechnic University, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, ESPOL, Campus Gustavo Galindo Km 30.5 Vía Perimetral, P.O. Box 09-01-5863 Guayaquil, Ecuador
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Facultad de Ingeniería en Ciencias de la Tierra, ESPOL Polytechnic University, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, ESPOL, Campus Gustavo Galindo Km 30.5 Vía Perimetral, P.O. Box 09-01-5863 Guayaquil, Ecuador
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Bira Bienes Raíces S.A. (BIRA S.A.), Av. Alfonso de Mercadillo, P.O. Box 071350 Zaruma, Ecuador
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Facultad de Ciencias de la Ingeniería, Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena (UPSE), Avda. principal La Libertad—Santa Elena, La Libertad 240204, Ecuador
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Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Matemáticas, Geo-recursos y Aplicaciones GIGA, ESPOL Polytechnic University, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, ESPOL, Campus Gustavo Galindo Km 30.5 Vía Perimetral, P.O. Box 09-01-5863 Guayaquil, Ecuador
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Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME), C/Matemático Pedrayes 25, 33005 Oviedo, Spain
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Resources 2020, 9(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9030028
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2020 / Accepted: 26 February 2020 / Published: 10 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoheritage and Geotourism Resources)
Zaruma is host to the ‘‘El Sexmo’’ tourist mine, the galleries of which extend below the city, and its exploitation dates back to precolonial times. The mining boom created important development in the area, but informal mining also emerged causing environmental issues and safety problems. This study presents a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the “El Sexmo” Tourist Mine in the context of its potential as a tourism geosite and mining site. The methodological stages included: (i) The process and systematization of the general mine information and its surroundings; (ii) the assessment of the geological and mining interest of the mine, through GAM and Brilha method; and (iii) description and proposal of action strategies through Delphi analysis and a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) matrix. Based on the results of the quantitative evaluation, the high values in the educational, scientific, and tourist aspects of the two applied methodologies, show the mine as a potential geosite and mining site with added cultural value. In addition, the quantitative assessment in correspondence with the qualitative analysis, allowed to propose improvement strategies to take advantage of the geological resources and mining identity of the area, as an alternative that strengthens the infrastructure of the mine and consolidates the geotouristic development of the area. View Full-Text
Keywords: geotourism; geosite; mining site; Zaruma; El Sexmo; tourist mine geotourism; geosite; mining site; Zaruma; El Sexmo; tourist mine
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Carrión-Mero, P.; Loor-Oporto, O.; Andrade-Ríos, H.; Herrera-Franco, G.; Morante-Carballo, F.; Jaya-Montalvo, M.; Aguilar-Aguilar, M.; Torres-Peña, K.; Berrezueta, E. Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment of the “El Sexmo” Tourist Gold Mine (Zaruma, Ecuador) as A Geosite and Mining Site. Resources 2020, 9, 28.

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