Extreme Lithium Mining

lithium-01

Ivan Alvarado / Reuters
An aerial view of the brine pools and processing areas of the Soquimich lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat, the largest lithium deposit currently in production, in the Atacama desert of northern Chile, on Jan. 10, 2013.

 

These almost sci-fi landscapes are very real Lithium mines. Lithium looks like the new wonder material, the main composant of batteries for electric cars, smartphones, tablet and laptops. In the future it could become one of the most strategic commodities, boosting alone an entirely new economy based on alternatives to fossil fuels. Yet, its extraction comes at a high environmental cost: half or even more of Lithium world’s reserves lie beneath Bolivia‘s Salar de Uyuni, an unique, surreal landscape that could risk irrepeable damages, while driving its country into a full blown geopolitical and economic crisis.

 

lithium-02

Ivan Alvarado / Reuters
An aerial view of the brine pools and processing areas of the Soquimich lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat, the world’s second largest salt flat, in the Atacama desert of northern Chile.

 

lithium-03

Lithium mines at the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Via: http://www.revistasomos.cl/2012/12/expropiacion-y-saqueo-de-nuestros-recursos-el-litio-gate-la-punta-del-iceberg/

 

lithium-05

Ivan Alvarado / Reuters
An aerial view of the brine pools and processing areas of the Soquimich lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat, the largest lithium deposit currently in production, in the Atacama desert of northern Chile, on Jan. 10, 2013.

 

Images via: The Propaedeuticist and Photoblog/NBCNews

Comments

  1. David says

    Hi,

    do you have any information on why these brine pools have such incredible different colors? I know about bacteria in salt lakes, that turn the water reddish, but I have never seen these yellow, greenish and turquoise colored pools before and cannot come up with an explanation on why the brine pools have DIFFERENT colors here.
    Any tip would be highly appreciated! Maybe I was looking for the wrong key-words, but I could not find out about this on the internet.
    I am currently doing research for the the concept of a new artwork and lithium brine pools might fit into the context quite well.

    Best regards,
    David

  2. says

    Hi David,
    I don’t know why these pools get these colors, but I can ask someone. I’ll let you know if I discover that.
    Thanks for following!
    fosco

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>