Bolivia’s immense salt flats are one of the world’s largest sources of lithium deposits, and lithium is used to power electric cars. Supplies are dwindling throughout the world and it currently isn’t being extracted from the Salt Flats, mainly because Bolivia is reluctant to allow foreign investors to come in and profit from its exploitation. However, there are plans in the pipeline for the Bolivian government to build their own extraction plant, with projections to be producing a third of the world’s lithium by 2012.
This is fantastic news in that Bolivia may now have an resource which will help to alleviate the extreme poverty found throughout their country, and it gives the world an option to be much less reliant on fossil fuels.
But let’s hope we can still continue to enjoy this fantastic landscape without factories popping up all over the place – it’s never simple…
See an article from the BBC on this topic here