Hélène et Thomas Chassaing fr / en Menu


One of the things we wanted to document on our journey to Brazil was the so-called "lithium triangle", a region in the Andean altiplano that straddles Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, and which contains (depending on the source) 70% to 85% of the world's reserves of this mineral. (1)

Lithium is very present in the batteries of our mobile phones, computers and electric cars and we wanted to know a little more about this metal which, we are often told, heralds a new industrial revolution (2). As the next COP is due to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, we could have made a photographic link between the first industrial revolution (3) that took place in the UK and the possible fourth one that would be electric (after coal, oil and nuclear). (2)

Unfortunately, because of the Covid 19 epidemic, we were only able to document (and quickly!) the Chilean part where one of the largest lithium deposits in the world is located, in the Atacama Salar located in the most arid desert on the planet.

With the help of a compatriot we met in San Pedro de Atacama (thanks again Julie!), we went to the entrance of the mine operated by the American chemical company Albemarle and the company SQM (Chilean Chemical and Mining Company), which recently saw the arrival of Chinese capital. (1)