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Provincia de Antofagasta
|— Province —|
|• Governor||Pablo Toloza Fernández|
|• Total||67,793.5 km2 (26,175.2 sq mi)|
|Population (2002 Census)|
|• Density||4.7/km2 ( 12/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CLT  (UTC-4)|
|• Summer (DST)||CLST  (UTC-3)|
|Area code(s)||56 + 55|
|Website||Government of Antofagasta|
Antofagasta Province (Spanish: Provincia de Antofagasta) is one of three provinces in the northern Chilean region of Antofagasta (II). The capital is the port city of Antofagasta. Located within the Atacama Desert, it borders the El Loa and Tocopilla provinces to the north,the Pacific Ocean to the West and the Atacama Region to the south.
Before 1866, this region was disputed and claimed by Chile and Bolivia. Between 1866 to 1879 the province contractually belonged to Bolivia, and was known as the Atacama Department, or the Litoral. It fell into the possession of Chile in the War of the Pacific of 1879-84, and was forcefully ceded to that republic in 1904. This is disputed by Bolivia as the forced takeover of part of a country by a stronger nation.
The province spans an area of 67,813.5 km2 (26,183 sq mi) in the Atacama Desert. It is the second largest province in the country, second only to Antártica Chilena Province (1,265,853.7 km2), which is not internationally recognized.
Its area is rich in saline and other mineral deposits with the important Caracoles silver mines about 90 miles (140 km) north-east of the Antofagasta. Like the other provinces of this region, Antofagasta produces for export copper, silver, silver ores, lead, nitrate of soda, borax and salt. Iron and manganese ores are also found here.
According to the 2002 census by the National Statistics Institute, the province had a 2002 population of 318,779 (165,847 men and 152,932 women), and a population density of 4.7 /km2 (12 /sq mi). Of this population, 313,244 (98.3%) lived in urban areas and 5,535 (1.7%) in rural areas. Between the 1992 and 2002 censuses, the population grew by 29.1% (71,779 persons).
As a province, Antofagasta is a second-level administrative division of Chile, which is further subdivided into four communes (comunas). The province is administered by a presidentially appointed governor. Pablo Toloza Fernández was appointed by president Sebastián Piñera. Government headquarters are located at Arturo Prat N° 384, Piso 6, Antofagasta.
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- (Spanish) Government of Antofagasta