San José Mine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mina San José
Mina San José de Copiapó en 2010.jpg
San José de Copiapó mine during the 2010 mining accident rescue efforts, on August 10.
Mina San José is located in Chile
Mina San José
Mina San José
Location in Chile
CityAtacama Region
Coordinates27°09′31″S 70°29′52″W / 27.158609°S 70.497655°W / -27.158609; -70.497655Coordinates: 27°09′31″S 70°29′52″W / 27.158609°S 70.497655°W / -27.158609; -70.497655
ProductsCopper, Gold
CompanySan Esteban Mining Company

The San José Mine (Spanish: Mina San José) is a small copper-gold mine located near Copiapó, Atacama Region, Chile.[1] The mine became known internationally for its collapse in 2010, which trapped 33 miners 700 metres (2,300 ft) underground.[2] Its workings are reached by a long sloping roadway with many spiral turns (a diagram shows ten turns), not by a vertical mineshaft.


diagram of mine layout

The San José Mine is located 45 kilometers northwest of Copiapó. The mine began operations in 1889.[1] In 1957, Jorge Kemeny Letay, a Hungarian immigrant founded the San Esteban Mining Company (Spanish: Compañía Minera San Esteban).[1]

According to Terra, the mine's annual sales surpassed 20 million dollars.[1]

Between 2003 and 2010, several mining accidents occurred in the mine, causing at least three deaths.[1] In 2007, a geologist was killed in the mine, and led to its closure. It was reopened in May 2008 by SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (National Geology and Mining Service). In July 2010, miner Gino Cortés lost a leg in an accident.[1]

2010 cave-in[edit]

Compañía Minera San Esteban (English: San Esteban Mining Company) advised national authorities on 5 August 2010 that a collapse had occurred at 14:00 local time, and rescue efforts began the next day. National Emergencies Office of Chile reported that day a list of 33 trapped and possibly deceased miners, that included Franklin Lobos, a retired footballer, and Carlos Mamani, a Bolivian miner.[2] The miners were found alive 17 days later, on August 22.[3] Nonetheless, it was not until 69 days after the collapse on October 13, 2010, that the first miner, Florencio Ávalos, was rescued.[4]

San Esteban Mining Company is considering bankruptcy after the miners are rescued.[5] San José is the only mine owned by San Esteban.[5] President of Chile Sebastián Piñera said on October 12 that "the mine will remain closed until security measures that guard the life and dignity of the workers are established."[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Derrumbe en la Mina San José". Terra Perú (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Navarrete, Camila (August 6, 2010). "Se confirman las identidades de mineros atrapados en mina San José en Región de Atacama" (in Spanish). Radio Bío Bío. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  3. ^ Haroon Siddique (August 23, 2010). "Chilean miners found alive – but rescue will take four months". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  4. ^ "'Mission accomplished': All 33 miners rescued". CNN. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on 18 November 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Chile: la minera San José podría declararse en quiebra". Central de Noticias Tucumán (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 21 October 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
  6. ^ "Piñera: Mina San José será clausurada hasta que se establezcan normas de seguridad". Agencia Venezolana de Noticias (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2010.