Seaport (pop., 2002: 285,255), capital of Antofagasta region, northern Chile. Located on Moreno Bay, it was a Bolivian city until it was taken by Chile in 1879 (see War of the Pacific). Its early growth resulted from the nitrate boom that began in 1866 and from the Caracoles silver discovery in 1870. The largest city of northern Chile, it remains a supply source for the mines and is a communications centre on the Pan-American Highway.
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