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The source of the Potaro River is in the Mount Ayanganna area of the Pakaraima Mountains in the North Rupununi Savannahs. The river runs for approximately 225 km (140 mi) before flowing into the Essequibo River, Guyana's largest river.
Chenapau is a small Amerindian village located in forested terrain along the Potaro River south of Kaieteur Falls. Menzies Landing, a small settlement that is a 20-minute walk upriver from Kaieteur Falls, is the main staging area for up river travel. Up river from the falls, the Potaro Plateau stretches out to the distant escarpment of the Pakaraima Mountains.
In the first half of the 20th century miners, employing primitive methods, recovered significant quantities of gem-quality diamonds from the area's rivers and streams. In fact the two largest gem-quality diamonds recovered in Guyana to date - 56.75 carats (11.35 g) from Little Uewang River and 25.67 carats (5.134 g) from Maple Creek - were recovered in the Potaro area.
Many thousands of ounces of placer gold have been recovered from the area's stream gravels, residual placers and saprolites.
The mineral Potarite is named for the river where it was first discovered.
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