Atacama virtual: English

Mining History in Atacama, Chile: Tres Puntas

Mines of the silver district of Tres Puntas, Chile

Museo Virtual, Atacama

W. Griem, 2005 - 2020

Tres Puntas today
Mines of Tres Puntas
Historical Resources
page +

Pic Pueblo Tres Puntas
The ruins of Tres Puntas
Map: situation today
The ruins of the Tres Puntas village are on the verge of disappearing, some few visible remains are left in the middle of the desert.

Pic Minas de Tres Puntas
The mines
Buena Esperanza
Al Fin Hallada
There were only a few vestiges of the mining district, some walls, shafts, pits and stairs lost in the desert.
Complete list of the mines

Pic Historia de Tres Puntas
Timeline of Tres Puntas

Introduction, Tres Puntas district (Atacama region):

Tres Puntas is probably the second best-known historical mining district after Chañarcillo (in this case). Located about 80 kilometers away from Copiapó, actually in the desert. A large number of abandoned mines can still be seen with the remains of plants and buildings. Some walls and foundations remained of the mythical village.
Between 1848 and 1922, the production reached between 20 and 70 tons of fine silver annually. According to historical descriptions, Tres Puntas could be a western film model (see: life in Tres Puntas).
But on the other side of the coin, there was a highly technical mining operation in this era. In particular, English printing companies' mines achieved impressive production quantities (see: Esperanza mine). Unfortunately, the vein - deposits did not continue into very high depths. The deeper parts generally show lower ore - grades, and the mineralization changed.
But the boom period in this district was not as short as has generally been thought: almost 30 years after the discovery, fine silver production reached nearly 27 tonnes.
Nowadays, in 2020 we should note that in those days (between 1895 and 1910), silver as a metal entered a global crisis. Silver metal prices fell to a historic low and should not recover in the next few years either. Many mines lost their profitability forever.

Pic Cementerio Tres Puntas
The cemetery of Tres Puntas in the middle of the Atacama Desert

Pic Estadistica Lomas Bayas
Tres Puntas 1869
Chimbero 1869
Tres Puntas 1876
Chimbero 1876

Pic Cartas Tres Puntas
Historical maps

Sector Fin Hallada
Sector Victoria

Images of Chile and Atacama
Village Tres Puntas - Philippi
Cancha Tres Puntas - Tornero
Apires at Buena Esperanza (Tornero)

Atacama at black and white

Informative Chart
Location: Tres Puntas
Diego de Almagro Communa, Atacama Region
UTM Location: E404.238 / N70.28.231
Altitude: 2013 m
Location: 14 km to SW (straight line) of Inca de Oro.
Road: 96 kms from Copiapó
Status: Abandoned
Mineralization: Ag (silver) in veins

Pic listado Lomas Bayas
List of all the mines and owners..
A listing of all historic mines with historical production information and owners . .

Pic ilustraciones Tres Puntas
Historical documents
Historical texts

Treutler - the village of Tres Puntas
Treutler - dancing bar in Tres Puntas
Treutler - Interior de La Salvadora
Treutler - the miners of Tres Puntas
Treutler: Mining at Tres Puntas
Terremoto en Tres Puntas (Treutler)
Treutler accidente en Tres Puntas
San Román: Geology of Tres Puntas
Carta de un minero de Cornwall
Philippi at Tres Puntas
Philippi: History of Tres Puntas
Philippi: Description of Tres Puntas

Historical sketches
Buena Esperanza mine
Selection of minerals B. Esperanza
Dance Pub at Tres Puntas
Philippi: Tres Puntas 1
Philippi: Tres Puntas details
Interior Mina* (Treutler)

Carta de Tres Puntas, Atacama


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© Dr. Wolfgang Griem, Chile - all rights reserved  (Mail a Wolfgang Griem Uso de las páginas de y
Published (spanish): 19.9. 2017; Updated: 23.9.2017, 14.1.2018, 28.02.2021, 3.4.2021 (gram.)
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Any new publication not authorized by the authors is expressly prohibited. This applies in particular to electronic publications: Usage guidelines
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