Contest #808: tailings at the Ministro Alejandro Hales copper mine, Chile

Thanks to Glenmorren for the location, hint and reveal this week.

This location was selected primarily because it is an interesting, somewhat abstract visual feature (particularly the further you zoom in) rather than having a particularly compelling story. However, any location on Earth is unique and therefore has some story. In this case the scene shows part of the tailings pile for the Ministro Alejandro Hales open-pit copper mine just north of Calama, Chile. It was named after Alejandro Hales, a former Minister of Mines, in 2004.

The hint referred to Chuquicamata, located 10 km to the north. It is described as the largest open-pit copper mine in the world by excavated volume, and it is surrounded by tailings piles similar to the one at the Ministro Alejandro Hales mine. But about 4 km to its east, there is another interesting tailings pile created using what appears to be an automated radial distribution system. Again, it gets more interesting and abstract visually when you zoom right in.

Before the hint:

  • Graham Hedley
  • Glenmorren
  • Martin de Bock
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Garfield
  • zorro the fox
  • Andreas Meister
  • hhgygy
  • Eloy Cano
  • Phil Ower
  • Lighthouse

After the hint:

  • Bas van Limpt