The lithium triangle

photo

Photo  / 34

An overview of the Salar del Hombre Muerto, or Dead Man's Salt Flat, an important source of lithium at around 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) above sea level on the border of the northern Argentine provinces of Catamarca and Salta, October 28, 2012. Argentina, Chile and Bolivia hold the planet's largest reserves of lithium, the world's lightest metal and a key component in batteries used to power a range of technologies from cell phones to laptops to electric cars. Industrial production from countries in this so-called ''lithium triangle'' is already high. Chile is the world's leading source of the metal, turning out around 40 percent of global supply, and Argentina is also a significant producer. Output from the Andes may soon rise after Bolivia - the country that holds an estimated 50 percent of the world's lithium reserves - opened its first lithium pilot plant in January. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian