Antofagasta

/ahn'toh feuh gah"steuh/; Sp. /ahn'taw fah gahs"tah/, n.
a seaport in N Chile. 149,720.

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Seaport (pop., 1999: est.: 243,038), capital of Antofagasta region, northern Chile.

Located on Moreno Bay, it was a Bolivian city until it was taken by Chile in 1879 (see War of the Pacific). Its early growth resulted from the nitrate boom that began in 1866 and from the Caracoles silver discovery in 1870. The largest city of northern Chile, it remains a supply source for the mines and is a communications centre on the Pan-American Highway.

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Chile
      city, northern Chile, and a Pacific port on Bahía (bay) Moreno. A Bolivian town until 1879, it occupies a terrace at the base of bleak, arid coastal mountains. Its early growth resulted from the nitrate boom that began in 1866 and from the Caracoles silver discovery of 1870, at which time Antofagasta's name became official. Supplying the mines and exporting copper and sulfur continue as its major functions. Besides foundries and refineries, ore-concentration and sulfuric acid manufacturing facilities, there are local food and beverage processing and fish-meal production industries. There is also a shipyard for trawlers. The largest city in northern Chile, Antofagasta is the site of the University of the North (founded in 1956). It is also a communications centre on the Pan-American Highway, is linked by rail to the mines, to Oruro, Bol., and to Salta, Arg., as well as to urban areas to the north and south, and has an international airport. Pop. (2002) 285,255.

      region, in an extremely arid part of northern Chile, bounded on the east by Bolivia and Argentina and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Antofagasta (area 48,642 sq mi [125,981 sq km]) is the second largest of Chile's regions; about 90 percent of its population lives in urban areas, chiefly the capital city of Antofagasta (q.v.), and in Tocopilla, Calama, and Chuquicamata. Occupied in 1879 by Chilean forces early in the War of the Pacific, it was ceded by Bolivia in 1884 and created a Chilean province in 1888 and a region in 1974. It includes the provinces of Tocopilla, Antofagasta, and El Loa. The population grew greatly after the discovery of nitrate deposits in 1866, mainly in the Pampa del Tamarugal, lying between the coastal range and the volcanic Andes. After World War I, nitrate prices fell, and the population declined. From the region now comes more than 50 percent of Chile's copper production, especially from Chuquicamata and La Escondida. Borax, sulfur, and iodine are also important mineral resources. It is the leading region in road and railroad mileage and is linked with the rest of Chile and with Oruro, Bolivia, and Salta, Arg. Pop. (1982 prelim.) 341,203.

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Universalium. 2010.

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