Salar de Uyuni is became aware of a tourist spot by many people. But in recent years, Salar de Uyuni became to be paid attention by countries in the world.
At present, we could know that Salar de Uyuni is buried a lot of Lithium in under the ground. The amount of Lithium is very huge, about 9 million tons of the resources are lie under the ground without being used.
At first, what is the Lithium? Lithium is a natural resources which is often used material of a rechargeable battery of a personal computer, a mobile phone and an electric car and so on. And now, that kind of electronic equipments are competing many companies in the country, moreover all over the world. So, the demand of Lithium is getting higher and higher for the future and each countries are looking for the stable source of resources.
Some sources of Lithium are dotted with the world. For example, main countries are Chile, Australia, China, Argentina and so on. Main deposits which are operating are these places, but deposits which are investigating are many more than the operating deposits. Sources of Lithium have a characteristic. It is that most demand is produced at some places of production. Lithium is the lightest metallic elements, so it continues circulating through the upper part of the earth's crust and sea water in the long time for earth. Based on this moving, many amount of Lithium is buried in the bottom of the dry salt lake.
In particularly, some salt lakes are in South America. Two countries in South America are in top-raking of the amount of production of Lithium. South America is blessed with sources rich in natural resources and estimated that have about 50% of Lithium in the world.
In that thing, why is Salar de Uyuni paid attention particularly?
It is called that the deposits of Lithium is about 23 million tons in the world (the added number of Lithium have mined already and the one is not mined yet). About 9 million tons of Lithium in that number are exist in Salar de Uyuni! About 40% amount of total deposits is in a salt lake.
It will already be in 2009, China, France, Korea and Japan began to negotiate with the government of Bolivia. Each countries and Japanese independent administrative institution, Oil, Gas and Metals National Corpolation (JOGMEC) and Sumitomo business company and so on pressured the government about development of Lithium enthusiastically, but Bolivia was negative for joint development because of the historical background. Negotiation seemed to have rough road ahead. But
in 2012, June 19th, Korea's company announced that succeeded to get the right of Lithium associated business. COMIBOL Bolivian company and Korean consortium will cooperate, build factories around Salar de Uyuni and begin to produce in 2014. In negotiating between Korea and Bolivia, Korea developed new technology, which Lithium extraction period usually take one year can shorten to less than one month. It seems that this became a conclusive facter.
At this point in time, Korea had the advantage over the other countries in the competition.
In this way, Salar de Uyuni is received many interest and eager look. Lithium is buried under the ground of Uyuni will be place to fight for the useful resources.
Asahi Newspaper http://www.asahi.com/business/topics/economy/TKY200910310450.html
Toua nippou http://japan.donga.com/srv/service.php3?biid=2012062026888
Wikipedia Lithium http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/リチウム