This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Chile's Huge Open-pit Copper Mine Goes Underground

Conditions at Chuquicamata today are nothing like what Guevara and Neruda described. Mining remains a dangerous occupation and many workers still suffer injuries at marginal private operations, such as the San Jose mine that collapsed in 2010, trapping 33 workers underground for 69 days.

But mining deaths nationally fell 36 percent last year and it was Codelco that led the rescue of the trapped miners at San Jose, mesmerizing millions worldwide.

The seven-floor hospital Anaconda built in the 1960s is now buried under thousands of tons of rock from the expanding mine. The school's windows are broken and boarded up, and empty homes are caked in dirt. A flattened, dusty soccer ball lies on one of its abandoned streets. The town of 20,000 people was evacuated in 2007 to nearby Calama to make room for the mountains of mine waste now baking like elephants in the sun.

President Sebastian Pinera says Chileans should put nostalgia aside and look at the Chuqui of the future â¿¿ an underground mine that will keep delivering wealth to the nation for another 50 years.

"We have to prepare ourselves for the end of the old Chuquicamata and at the same time the new Chuqui, that starts today," Pinera said in July as he ordered the blast that began the work.

"It's nostalgic but we feel we're making history," said Mauricio Vivero, a construction engineer at Chuqui. "Perhaps the grandchildren of some of the miners that Che saw are now doctors, engineers, or even work right here. This mine gave us everything. Behind this mine, rests a whole country."


Luis Andres Henao on Twitter:

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
4 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 +1.24 0.06%
NASDAQ 5,127.5250 +11.3820 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs