Electric car boom fuels interest in Bolivia’s fragile salt flats

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www.theguardian.com - Max Opray
Bolivia’s lithium carbonate contains high levels of magnesium, making the extraction process difficult and costly. Photograph: Alamy
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Demand for the metal used in electric car batteries has surged. But extraction could threaten the fragile ecosystem of the world’s largest salt flat.

Demand for lithium – which is used in pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, and smartphone and electric car batteries – has surged in the past year, ahead of an anticipated boom in electric cars, and is projected to outstrip supply by 20

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