Antofagasta plc (LSE: ANTO) is a Chilean business that operates in various sectors of the economy. It is one of the most important conglomerates of Chile with equity participation in Antofagasta Minerals, the railroad from Antofagasta to Bolivia, Aguas Antofagasta in Chile, Tethian in Australia and other investments in different parts from the world. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
The Group began life as Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia, a business that was incorporated and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1888 with the objective of operating a railway between Antofagasta, a port on the north pacific coast of Chile, and La Paz, the capital City of Bolivia.
In 1980, a majority the shares was acquired by the Grupo Luksic and the two businesses were subsequently integrated under the name Antofagasta Holdings.
During the 1980s, Antofagasta Holdings diversified into other areas such as mining in Michilla, in which it invested in 1983, and mining in the Pelambres, in which it invested in 1986, in addition to telecommunications.
In 1996, Antofagasta Holdings transferred its banking activities and its industrial interests to Quiñenco S.A., another diversified Chilean company also controlled by the Luksic family. This transfer allowed Antofagasta Holdings to concentrate on the development of the Pelambres and the Tesoro mines and establish itself as a low cost copper producer. The shortened name, Antofagasta, was adopted in 1999.