How copper riches helped shape Chile’s economic story

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Although Chile has always been noted for its abundant mineral wealth, the country was actually not a notable copper producer even at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1907, for example, the United States was able to produce nearly 14X as much copper as Chile. The reality was that shortages in capital, organisation, and water kept the country’s massive, low-grade deposits from being developed at any significant scale. Things would change dramatically for Chile. The country has been the world’s top copper producer now for over 30 years, and today close to 50% of the country’s exports come from copper-related products, according to VisualCapitalist.

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