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Mining in the Atacama Region, Chile

Inca de Oro mining district

Museo Virtual, Atacama

W. Griem, 2006 - 2021

Mines of Inca de Oro
The village Inca de Oro
Railway of IDO
Historical Resources
Historic Text
Map of districts
page +

Informative Chart
Place: Inca de Oro Mining District
Diego de Almagro Commune, Atacama Region
Location (Guias California School) UTM: E405.188 / N70.34.718
Height: 1580m - 2200 m
Location: West of the Inca de Oro village.
Road: 100 kms from Copiapó
State: Active by small scale mining, small enterprises; perhaps abandoned, prospecting
Mineralization: Au (gold) in veins; some Au-Cu mines

Pic minas de Inca de Oro
Mines of Inca de Oro district
Guías de California (1)
Guías de California (2)
La Cirujana
Sonia Bajo

La Isla - San Pedro
Map La Isla - San Pedro
La Isla (p.1) / (p.2) / (p.3)
San Pedro (p.1) / (p.2) / (p.3) / (p.4)

Pic ffcc de Inca de Oro
Railway of the Inca Inca de Oro sector
Railway station of Inca de Oro
Railway station of  San Pedro
Station Cuba

Historical traces of the district
School of Las Guías de California
Mill in ruins
Maray en el desierto
Tour turístico

Historical texts
Aracena, San Pedro (1884)
San Roman (1894): Inca e Isla

Map of the district (Guías)
Map of San Pedro - La Isla

Map of 1919

Mostazal en el desierto de Atacama - Chile Finca de Chañaral Alto en el desierto de Atacama - Chile Inca de Oro en el desierto de Atacama - Chile Mina Alaska en el desierto de Atacama - Chile Tres Puntas en el desierto de Atacama - Chile San Pedro en el desierto de Atacama - Chile Inca de Oro Mining District: location chart
Location of Inca de Oro

Pic 300 Inca de Oro
The village Inca de Oro
Atacama Region, Chile
Museum Inca de Oro
Map of the village Inca de Oro

Peinecillo en el distrito de Inca de Oro - Minería en Atacama - Chile
Photo: Headframe in the Inca de Oro district, Atacama Region - Chile. W.Griem (2011, Ca50D4916)

The Inca de Oro mining district is probably the most remarkable and active historical district in recent times. "Inca de Oro "is a symbol of small-scale mining. For centuries, the rich gold veins have been exploited in the southwest of the town, now known as Inca de Oro.
In 1869 the district officially produced almost 304 kilograms of fine gold per year. The most productive mine at this time was Sebastopol with about 63 kg of fine gold per year.
In 1904 with the arrival of the railway line and its extension 1909 to Copiapó the district was left with a great advantage: to be connected by an efficient and fast means of transport. Unfortunately, the global crisis and mining crisis between 1910 and 1940 hit the district hard.
Many mines are currently in production, usually operated by small companies with a few miners.
Mining activities in the sector depend for a significant part on the price of metal, then some years, the years of good price, you can observe strong activities in the mines, in times of low price the district is almost uninhabited.
In the last two years, the tourism potential of the sector has finally been discovered, and more projects will be carried out in the future.

Original text:
"Inca de Oro, of Chañaral. Of the production of this mining district [gold] almost half of the production comes from the "Guías de California" mine; the other half is divided in more or less equal parts between the Beatriz mine and the rest of the very numerous, but still little worked mines that this mineral contains. This mineral is one of the few that in its production is increasing by leaps and bounds and is destined to become very important, once its workings are conveniently developed and after the amalgamation and smelting of auriferous shafts, for which last operation the minerals are quite appropriate, are installed in the ore, as the project exists." (Yunge, 1909)

La Isla en Inca de Oro - Region de Atacama - Chile Arte Rupestre en Chañaral Alto - Region de Atacama - Chile Tres Puntas y Chimberos en la Region de Atacama - Chile Estación ferrocarril de San Pedro - Inca de Oro - Atacama
Mining districts near Inca de Oro - Atacama Region - Chile
Map of the Inca de Oro mining district

Sundt, Lorenzo & San Ramón, Francisco (1911): Estudios Jeológicos y Topograficos del Desierto i Puna de Atacama. Vol II (1911): Sociedad Nacional de Minería Vol II. - 405 páginas; Santiago de Chile.
• Yunge, G. (1909): Estadística Minera de Chile 1906 - 1907. - Sociedad Nacional de Minería  Vol.3; Imprenta y Litografía "Universo"

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Published: 30.6.2014, updated: 17.9.2017, 28.02.2021
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