Extraction Process

The activities necessary for obtaining iodine include a mining stage, which leads to a metallurgical extraction and ends with iodine processing in a chemical plant.

Caliche, extracted with normal loading equipment and from which the mineral material is obtained, is extracted into blocks of about 25 by 25 surface meters, which then will be brought together as stacks for further leaching process via application of a liquid solvent, dissolving its soluble components. These solutions are collected by a drainage system that is transported to the settling ponds and later moved to the iodine plant, where it will go through stages of reduction, merger and prilled for the final extraction.

Leaching requires seawater for its implementation, which is extracted from the industrial area of Mejillones and which is driven by a water abduction system and two water-pumping stations.