As the country with the longest mining tradition and most stable in Latin America, politically and economically, Chile is especially noted for its strategic importance in the field of mining. Owing to its abundant productive heritage and openness towards investment, Chile offers an institutionality specifically designed for the development of a favorable economic environment for the exploration and extraction of mineral resources. For these reasons, in short, we say those who know mining exploration, choose Chile.
As for information availability, the Chilean government provides a daily updated database of mining properties, in which it is evident that a full 59% of the countries territory is available for mining concession, making for abundant exploration and exploitation opportunities.
According to information published by the National Survey of Geology and Mining (Sernageomin), the institution responsible for providing mining and geologic data , the central zone of Chile is amongst the areas with the greatest availability of surface and subsurface concessions and has the largest ore deposits in the country. For example, the Valparaíso Region has 38% of its surface available for concession while the Metropolitan Region has 40% (table 1 indicates the percentages of the surface available for exploration by region).
Also noteworthy is the Arica y Parinacota Region with 29% surface available, the Antofagasta Region with 21% and the Coquimbo Region with 27%. The zones with the most concessions are the Atacama Region, where only 9% is available, and the Tarapacá Region, which has 4% available for this activity.
The database also includes high quality geoscientific information on the nature and geologic evolution of the national territory, in particular on the genesis and exploration potential of mineral ore deposits. These data provide guidance for investors on developing attractive exploration areas.
Figure 2 shows the distribution and percentages of the mineral resources (in exploitation) for each region of the country. In the northern-central zones of Chile, more than 55% of the ore deposits are of copper, while the central-southern zones of Chile, 78% of the ore deposits are of gold. Different types of ore deposits such as stratabound Cu, IOGC (Iron oxide-Gold-Copper), Porphyry Cu-Mo, Porphyry Cu-Au, and Epithermal Au are recognized and exploited in the country.
In addition, the database provides the size and type of ore deposits in production (Figure 2), which is an indicator of the potential mineral wealth and deposit type to be explored in areas near existing ore deposits.
Figure 2: Distribution of metallic mineral resources (mines) in Chile. The pie graphs show the percent distribution of the main mineral resources for each region. The different colors of each circular dot in the figure represent the main mineral resource for each mine (see symbology in the figure).