The promise of the salt flats
Potassium llipi plant, bolivia, march 2015
Meanwhile lithium is extracted from the salt flats, one of the other elements present in the desert, potassium, is extracted. A way to benefits the extraction at its maxixum.
Incahuasi island, also called cactus island, stands in the middle of the salt flats, bolivia, march 2015
Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, has new hope for its development: its salt desert, the Salar of Uyuni. A lithium deposit that would contain nearly 40% of the world's reserves. The largest in the world. However, some industrialists see lithium as the energy of the future, which is used in particular to manufacture batteries for new technologies: smartphones, tablets, electric bicycles, etc.
The challenge is to develop this business on a long-term basis. Because the salar of Uyuni is a highly touristy place, but it is also the ancestral land of many Bolivians. The people who inhabit the area around the Salar live mainly from the exploitation of salt, quinoa and llamas. The intensive exploitation of lithium announces an ecological disaster for some, for others, it announces economic and social development, promise of work and more comfortable living conditions.