“Lithium Mines #1, Salt Flats, Ata­cama Desert, Chile, 2017”

Toronto Life - - The Best Place to Live -

Who knew lithium min­ing could be so pretty? The Ata­cama Desert, high in a bar­ren cor­ner of Chile, is home to the largest-known de­posit of lithium, which pow­ers the bat­ter­ies in our phones and elec­tric cars. Min­ers pump out salt and wa­ter from deep wells—they’re af­ter the brine, of which less than one per cent is lithium. Through a slow, year-long evap­o­ra­tion, they con­cen­trate the lithium and re­move the salts, which cre­ates this crazy quilt of blues and greens. In con­ceiv­ing their An­thro­pocene project, Bur­tyn­sky and his col­lab­o­ra­tors wanted to bal­ance good- and bad­news sto­ries. Bur­tyn­sky, who drives a Tesla, be­lieves that al­ter­na­tive en­ergy stored in ef­fi­cient lithium bat­ter­ies is firmly in the former cat­e­gory.

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