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Last updated 1 year ago
Chile’s Salar de Atacama has the world’s largest reserve of lithium, which is a key ingredient in rechargeable batteries. Lithium-rich brine is pumped to the surface and shunted through a network of canals to shallow evaporation ponds lined with plastic. Then the region’s relentlessly dry, sunny, and windy weather evaporates the brine and leaves behind deposits of lithium and other salts.