Three Latin American countries contain over half of the planet’s lithium.
And demand for the metal is intensifying. Lithium is a light metal used to make batteries. The salt flats of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina hold the bulk of the world’s supply. Now, the production of electric cars is making demand soar.
The stunningly beautiful salt flats form a region that has become known as the Lithium Triangle. Demand for lithium is expected to triple by 2025. Companies and governments are eagerly looking to profit from the commodity. And the opportunity it could offer these countries is vast.
But there are also environmental concerns and worries about the effect extraction could have on local indigenous communities.
Americas Now Correspondent Joel Richards traveled to the region to find out more about what’s been called a white gold rush.
The Chinese company Lifan which is based in Uruguay is in discussions to produce electric cars in the region. Companies are also discussing putting electric vehicles on sale this year as well.