In Chile, mining is a crucial component of the overall economy and an age-old endeavor with a culture of its own. Although operations exist throughout the length of the country, mining reigns supreme in the Chilean north.
The sophistication and relevance attained by Chilean mining are based on:
Key country statistics are shown below
The table below illustrates mining sector performance and contribution to the overall economy in recent years.
Chile is noted worldwide for the vastness and quality of its mining resources. Current rates of development place Chile as a world leader in some key minerals.
The table below illustrates the Chilean position on the international mining scene:
The degree of copper mineralization in Chile has no equal around
the world. Indeed, Chile is home to some of the world’s largest, better
known copper mines.
Approximately 80 percent of Chilean production comes from
porphyry copper deposits rich in molybdenum, gold, and silver
byproducts. Most such deposits lie in northern Chile (20º to 26º S).
The second-largest source of copper production and reserves are
stratabound deposits located primarily on northern coastal areas and
parts of central Chile. These contain mostly primary sulfides and some
exotic copper. Vein-type deposits are nearly depleted.
Gold mineralization is abundant. While alluvial deposits can
be found throughout the country, development focuses on epithermal
deposits often associated with silver. Leading gold districts stand from
26º to 32º S.