The salt mines

An aerial view of the brine pools and processing areas of the Soquimich lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat, the largest lithium deposit currently in production, in the Atacama desert of northern Chile, January 10, 2013. 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.   Picture taken January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado (CHILE - Tags: BUSINESS COMMODITIES ENVIRONMENT ENERGY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ..ATTENTION EDITORS:  PICTURE 23 34 FOR PACKAGE ' LITHIUM TRIANGLE'.SEARCH 'LITHIUM TRIANGLE' FOR ALL

( IVAN ALVARADO / REUTERS / April 4, 2013 )

An aerial view of the brine pools and processing areas of the Soquimich lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat, the largest lithium deposit currently in production, in the Atacama desert of northern Chile, January 10, 2013. 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. Picture taken January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado (CHILE - Tags: BUSINESS COMMODITIES ENVIRONMENT ENERGY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ..ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 23 34 FOR PACKAGE ' LITHIUM TRIANGLE'.SEARCH 'LITHIUM TRIANGLE' FOR ALL

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