The lithium rush

The lithium rush

In Depth

The Salar de Uyuni can play tricks on your eyes. At 3,600 meters above sea level, the air is thin, the 11,000 square kilometers of table flat landscape cast no shadows, and the titanium white surface eliminates all sense of perspective. Don’t wander off, guides warn visitors. Beneath a brittle crust of salt lie reservoirs of mineral-rich brine, which the US Geological Survey estimates contain at least nine million tons of lithium, making it the world’s second largest resource. The world’s lightest known metal, lithium is used in industrial applications, ranging from heat-resistant glass to steel and aluminum production. It’s also used in mood-stabilizing drugs. But its greatest potential lie

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