Chile owns almost half of the recoverable reserves of lithium, and the favorable geographic conditions are a crucial factor here. The largest deposits of lithium are found in salt flats, known in Latin America as “Salares”. Below the dried salt layer, there is a lithium chloride-containing brine which is pumped to the surface in reservoirs. There, the water evaporates, and the crystallized concentrate is dried in the sun, after which it can be packed in containers and shipped for further processing.
Chile not only has the ambition to exploit its reserves and export raw materials, but also to establish a processing industry. If implemented, it would be a welcome diversification of the Chilean economy. With its excellent research location, Switzerland can play an active and important role in the development and optimization of this industry.
Further information about lithium in Chile can be found in the download area.