Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Industrial minerals and rocks

By
Guillermo Chong Díaz (coordinator)
Guillermo Chong Díaz (coordinator)
Search for other works by this author on:
Aníbal Gajardo Cubillos
Aníbal Gajardo Cubillos
Search for other works by this author on:
Adrian J. Hartley
Adrian J. Hartley
Search for other works by this author on:
Teresa Moreno
Teresa Moreno
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2007

Abstract

This chapter overviews the origin, exploration and exploitation of Chilean industrial minerals (IM), the main such resources being evaporites, brines and other chemical products located in the northern part of the country. Following a general introduction to the subject, the geological processes relevant to IM generation are described, followed by more detailed accounts dealing with the evaporite deposits of the northern Chile salt flats, especially the nitrate and iodine ores that have provided the most valuable IM contribution to the Chilean economy.

Chile is administratively divided into ‘Regiones’ numbered I to XII from north to south, as well as the Metropolitan Region around Santiago, and the description of mineral deposits and mines is based on these geographical subdivisions (Fig. 7.1). Chilean industrial mineral production is concentrated in northern Chile, accounting for about 3–7% of Chilean mining exports in 2004, with a value of about US$500 million.

The exploitation of industrial minerals has been closely related to Chilean economic development, with the modern mining history of the country beginning during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when an outstanding income was derived from the nitrate industry. During their heyday, these resources were in high demand because of their use in the manufacture of fertilizers and gunpowder. For a brief period in the nineteenth century Chile was also an important producer of borate.

The importance of IM resources in Chile is based on their variety and quality and also the huge nature of some of the reserves. Variety is provided

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geological Society, London, Geology of Series

The Geology of Chile

Teresa Moreno
Teresa Moreno
Earth Sciences Institute ‘Jaume Almera’, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Barcelona, Spain
Search for other works by this author on:
Wes Gibbons
Wes Gibbons
AP 23075, Barcelona, Spain
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
9781862393936
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal