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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: international 1965
Year 1965, Volume IV (1967)

Brown, Lester R., Jr.
Chile,   pp. 191-205 ff. PDF (1.7 MB)


Page 191

  191The Mineral Industry of Chile 
By Lester R. Brown, Jr.1 
 Chile, one of the more economically developed countries of Latin America,
increased its gross national product (GNP) in real terms by 5.8 percent in
1965 over that of the previous year. At current prices, however, the GNP
increased 37 percent reaching 20,435 million escudos as compared with 14,882
million escudos in 1964. Although actual value data are not available by
sectors of the economy, it has been reported 2 that the mining industry was
a significant contributor to the overall economic growth, as the value of
its contribution to the GNP during 1965 rose by 24 percent over the 1964
level. Other sectors of the economy recorded individual percentage increases
in value contributed to the GNP as follows: Utilities—l8, agriculture—7,
transportation—4, and industry 
—3. 
 Chile continued to be a major supplier of certain mineral commodities in
1965. Although mine and smelter production of copper, Chile's most important
product, was lower in 1965 than in 1964, the nation maintained its position
as the third largest producer in the free world; Chile also ranked third
in the output of molybdenite and remained the world's only producer of nitrates
from mineral sources and the largest producer of iodine. Output of iron ores
and beneficiated products registered a sizable gain over the previous year.
The importance of Chile's major mineral commodities relative to total South
American and world production in 1965 is shown in the accompanying table.
 In 1965, the value of exports of mineral commodities was about $637 million,
or approximately 93 percent of the total Chilean export value of $688 million,
while imports of commodities in this group were of minor significance.3 
Chile's share of total 
(percent) 
Commodity 
 South American World production production 
Copper: 
 Mine production    Smelter production... - 
Nitrogen compounds: 
 Natural nitrates    All types, including 
 natural nitrates   Iodine              Iron ores and beneficiated products
          Molybdenum          
 76 12 78 10 
 100 100 
 88 1 100 47 
 21 2 85 7 
 Wildcat strikes during the year in the copper industry were largely responsible
for the 8-percent decrease in copper production. A strike was likewise reported
in the cement producing industry. 
 Provisional data released by the Central Bank indicated that the international
reserve and payment position at the end of 1965 was the strongest since that
of 1959. Factors influencing the 1965 economic advancement included the expansion
of trade as a result of the increased world demand for copper, substantial
foreign economic assistance, continued political stability, and increased
private and public investments in facilities for production of copper, iron
ore, and industrial machinery. 
 The Government was successful in reducing the rate of inflation on the basis
of cost of living data. Consumer prices in- 
 1 Foreign minerals specialist, Division of International Activities. 
 2 U.S. Embassy, Santiago, Chile. State Department Airgram A—103 and
enclosure. Aug. 22. 1966. 25 pp. 
 ' U.S. Embassy, Santiago, Chile. Department of State Airgram A—1045
(attachment), June 10. 1966, 3 pp. 
 Banco Central de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Boletin Mensual, No. 460, June
1966, p. 954. 


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