Friday, February 25, 2011

Chile - Chiquicamata

Sent by my great friend Hernán from Santiago, Chile.

This is from Wikipedia : Chuquicamata, or "Chuqui" as it is more familiarly known, is a large open pit copper mine in the north of Chile, 215 km northeast of Antofagasta and 1,240 km north of the capital, Santiago. It's 850 metres (2,790 ft) deep, make it the 2nd deepest open-pit mine in the world (after Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah, USA).

For many years it was the mine with the largest annual production in the world but was recently overtaken by Minera Escondida. Nevertheless it remains the mine with by far the largest total production of approximately 29 million tonnes of copper to the end of 2007 (excluding Radomiro Tomić). Despite over 90 years of intensive exploitation it remains one of the largest known copper resources. Its open pit is the worlds largest at 4.3 km long, 3 km wide and over 900 m deep and its smelter and electrolytic refinery (855,000 tonnes p.a.) are amongst the world's largest. Chuquicamata is also a significant producer of molybdenum.

Chuquicamata is now amalgamated with the operating Radomiro Tomić mine to the north (but still on the same mineralised system), the developing Alejandro Hales mine just to the south (formerly Mansa Mina, a slightly impolite description) and the recently discovered 'Toki cluster' of copper porphyries to form the Codelco Norte division of Codelco.

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