Concepción's exponential industrial and economic growth owes much to the huge offshore coal deposits discovered south of the city along the so-called Costa del Carbón (Coal Coast). The hilly coastal town of Lota spiraled into poverty when the mines closed in 1997, resulting in some of the most deprived shantytowns in the country. However, it has now reinvented itself as a tourist destination and makes an interesting half-day trip from Concepción.
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