O f i c i n a   M a r í a   E l e n a


Oficina María Elena was the first to use the Guggenheim system for the production of nitrate (1926). This technology was also introduced in the Pedro de Valdivia plant (1931). This system of a North American origin was conceived to beneficiate lands with low grade caliche (raw material) in nitrate (approximately 7%) while Shanks could not beneficiate commercially caliches whose grades in nitrate were under 14%.

Anonymous. Oficina María Elena.

Anonymous. Oficina María Elena.

Museo Pampino at María Elena, the latest Nitrate Work completely operating. At the photo the director of the Museum, Mr. Eduardo Ramos.

Among the exhibitions that this Museum offers to the public, there is an interesting Nitrate Room organized by its director, Mr. Claudio Castellón (in the photo). At present María Elena is the only Nitrate Plant that produces nitrate that has a camp.


Inside some Oficinas it was usual to use a substitute of the legal currency; thus "fichas" were coined that served to buy food and other products but only in the stores (or "Pulperías") adhered to the system, that belonged to the same owners of the nitrate Company. This practice sometimes led to abuse and fraud.

Nitrate Fichas.

Eco Pampino

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