A n t o f a g a s t a


In 1866 José Santos Ossa located 9 leagues (40.6 km.) from the present Port of Antofagasta the deposits of caliche of Salar del Carmen. Associated with Francisco Puelma he organized, by means of successive concessions of the Bolivia Government, country to which this uninhabited territory belonged, Compañía de Salitres de Antofagasta. In this way what would subsequently be a prosperous city was founded.

Anonymous. Oficina Antofagasta. Commenced the production of nitrate on June 2, 1877 with caliches transported by railway from Pampa Carmen Alto. It operated during 30 years.

Anonymous. Passenger and nitrate Loading wharf in Antofagasta

Compañía de Salitres de Antofagasta was the largest nitrate company formed with Chilean capitals. The problems of traffic and water supply, that obstructed the industrial operations during the first period, were resolved with the layout of the Railway and the construction of a large beneficiation plant in the same port of Antofagasta (1876). Since 1910 it adopted the norm of handing over the administration of its oficinas to Chilean engineers and technicians.



The nitrate district of Antofagasta, called commonly Canon de Bolivia, was formed by groups of ore deposits or nitrate fields known by the names of Carmen Alto (Km. 121 of the Railway), Salinas (Km. 127), Pampa Central (Km. 136), and Pampa Alta, the latter nearly reaching Sierra Gorda (Km. 170) and at an altitude of over 1,400.

Antofagasta. Nitrate shipping wharf

Album of employees of the Antofagasta and Bolivia Railway

Anonymous. Antofagasta Plaza

Eco Pampino

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