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Copiapó(kōpyäpō`), city (1990 est. pop. 79,268), capital of Atacama region, N central Chile, on the Copiapó River. An industrial city at the southern edge of the Atacama Desert, Copiapó has industries that ship and process the copper, gold, and silver of the surrounding region. The city was founded in 1540 by Pedro de ValdiviaValdivia, Pedro de
, c.1500–1554, Spanish conquistador, conqueror of Chile. One of Francisco Pizarro's best officers in the conquest of Peru, educated, energetic, somewhat less cruel and avaricious than his fellow conquerors, Valdivia obtained permission from Pizarro to
..... Click the link for more information. , the Spanish conqueror of Chile. It is connected to Argentina by a highway across the Andes.
a city in Chile, administrative center of the Atacama Province, in the valley of the Copiapo River, on the Pan American Highway. Population, 47,100 (1969). Railroad station. Copiapó is an important center for the mining of copper and iron ores. Copper is smelted there. The city was founded in 1540.