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Cerro de San Pedro Mine

Operational Mines

Cerro de San Pedro is a village and seat of the Municipality of Cerro de San Pedro, located in the state of San Luis Potosí in central Mexico. It is located in hills, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) northeast of the city of San Luis Potosí.

As of 2005, the population was 95. The townsite is now threatened by the new and adjacent open pit gold mining operations.


The village is located in the central part of the state, at 2,040 metres (6,690 ft) above sea level. The village borders Soledad de Graciano Sánchez on the north and west, Armadillo de los Infante on the east, and San Luis Potosí city on the southwest, and Villa de Zaragoza on the south. The co-ordinates of the center of the village are 100° 49’ west longitude and 22° 13’ north latitude.


The hills were in the homelands of the indigenous Chichimeca people and Guachichil people during the Pre-Columbian era.

The village started as a Spanish colonial mining settlement for gold and silver, and was formally established in 1592. It was the founding settlement of the state, and a symbol of its mineral rich hill is prominent in the state's coat of arms. Unfortunately, the hill has disappeared in the 2010s, as a result of the new opencast mine consuming its mass and site.

Mining history

In 1592 padre Diego de la Magdalena met with some of the Guachichil peoples in the pueblo of Mesquitique. Among them was one man named Cualiname or Gualiname, who brought attention the golden outlines in their face paintings. The missionary asked him where he had obtained this pigment, and was told there was much of the powder to the east of Mesquitique.

Magdalena told padre Francisco Franco about this discovery, who then told Captain Miguel Caldera, who took possession of the place from the indigenous peoples for the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Captain Caldera sent Gregorio de León, Juan de la Torre, and Pedro de Anda to verify the existence of the minerals. The latter named the locality San Pedro del Potosí, to honor his namesake saint and in memory of the famous mines of the Potosí in Alto Perú of the Viceroyalty of Peru, in present-day Bolivia.

Gold and silver were found in and around the hills of San Pedro, but there was not enough local water to support mining operations. The nearest water source was to the north in the homelands of the Chichimeca people. Hindrances were overcome by 1624, and the mines were rich producers of gold and silver for centuries. The Mesoamerican historian Primo Feliciano Velázquez y Basalenque included extensive descriptions of the Cerro de San Pedro area in his accounts.

Last Updated on: 2021-07-12