El Tofo

El Tofo is an iron ore mine in the Chilean Norte Chico region.[1] The mine lies in northern Coquimbo Region within a larger mining district known as the Chilean Iron Belt. Geologically El Tofo is an iron oxide-apatite deposit.[2]

The first record of the iron ores of El Tofo dates to a 1840 study of Ignacy Domeyko.[3] While the mine presents good geological aspects for 19th century mining geographical aspects made access difficult despite being close to the Pacific coast.[3] The mine begun to be exploited in 1870 but by 1955 mining diminished as the deposit begun to be depleted.[3] Compañía de Acero del Pacífico obtained the ownership of the mine in the early 1970s when it was nationalized during the Presidency of Salvador Allende.[3] Later the ownership passed to Compañía Minera del Pacífico as it was privatized during the Pinochet dictatorship.[3] As of 2017 El Tofo is not active.[2]


  1. ^ "El Tofo mine, Elqui Province, Coquimbo Region, Chile". mindat.org. Retrieved 2019-12-01. Old Fe open cast mine, now reopening: mineralization hosted in porhyr, diorite and amphibolized rocks.
  2. ^ a b Barra, Fernando; Reich, M.; Selby, D.; Rojas, P.; Simon, A.; Salazar, E.; Palma, G. (2017). "Unraveling the origin of the Andean IOCG clan: a Re-Os isotope approach" (PDF). Ore Geology Reviews. 81 (1): 62–78.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Historia de la mina de hierro El Tofo". Museo Histórico Gabriel González Videla (in Spanish). Servicio Nacional del Patrimonio Cultural. 2019-12-01.

Coordinates: 29°27′S 71°15′W / 29.45°S 71.25°W / -29.45; -71.25