The Chuquicamata open pit is 2 x 3 km large and 810 m deep, and is the largest metal mine of the world
|Location:||In Codelco, 15 km north of the city of Calama, Atacama Desert.|
250km north-east of Antofagasta, 1,200km north of Santiago. (22°17'S 68°54'W)
|Open:||All year daily, morning tour at 10. Be there early. Additional afternon tour depending on demand.|
|Classification:||open pit copper mine|
|Dimension:||Size of pit: L=4,500m, W=3,540m, D=800m.|
Production: 650,000 metric tons annually.
|Address:||Corporación Nacional del Cobre (Codelco), Huérfanos 1270, Santiago, Tel: 56(2)-690-3000 (Informaciones), Fax: 56(2)-690-3059 E-mail:|
|Last update:||$Date: 2007/08/09 07:57:50 $|
|pre-Hispanic times||first mined.|
|1910||start of copper mining by the Chile Exploration Company of the Guggenheim Group.|
|1923||mine sold to the Anaconda Copper Company.|
|1952||Ernesto Guevara made a stop at the mine on his motorcycle tour around South America.|
The Atacama Desert in the north of the country contains major reserves of copper, gold, silver and industrial metals, it is the heart of Chile's mining industry. Chile's copper mines provide over 30% of the world's mine production of recoverable copper, according to to statisctics of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Chuquicamata is an opencast copper mine, where a relatively poor copper ore is mined in impressive huge amounts. Modern mining and smelting technology allows the usage of such depostits at unrivaled low costs. The ore contains only between 1,13% and 1,18% metals, most of it copper, but also molybdenum and selenium in a very low proportion.
The Chuquicamata mine produces sulfidic ores, whilst the nearby Chuqui Sur mine, formerly known as Exótica, primarily produces oxide ores.