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This ASTER image covers 30 by 37 km in the Atacama Desert, Chile and was acquired on April 23, 2000. The Escondida Cu-Au-Ag open-pit mine is at an elevation of 3050 m, and came on stream in 1990. Current capacity is 127,000 tons/day of ore; in 1999 production totaled 827,000 tons of copper, 150,000 ounces of gold and 3.53 million ounces of silver. Primary concentration of the ore is done on-site; the concentrate is then sent to the coast for further processing through a 170 km long, 9 pipe. Escondida is related geologically to three porphyry bodies intruded along the Chilean West Fissure Fault System. A high grade supergene cap overlies primary sulfide ore. This image is a conventional 3-2-1 RGB composite. Figure 1 displays SWIR bands 4-6-8 in RGB, and highlights lithologic and alteration differences of surface units. The image is located at 24.3 degrees south latitude and 69.1 degrees west longitude.
The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.