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Makatea (mäkätā´ä), formerly Aurora (ôrôr´ə), island, South Pacific, one of the most northwesterly of the Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia. The center of the island was once a solid mass of phosphate that was mined jointly by the British and the French until 1966, when the phosphate reserves were depleted. Makatea is administered as part of the Windward group of the Society Islands and is no longer inhabited.