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Unlocking Bolivia's lithium wealth

By Lindsey Hilsum

Updated on 07 April 2009

High in the Andes lie the world's largest reserves of lithium, the metal which is likely to help power the electric and hybrid vehicles of the future.

Read Lindsey Hilsum's blog on seeking the holy grail of Bolivian lithium.

The lithium is locked in the brine of Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world.

If oil transformed the wealth and economic clout of the Middle East during the last century is lithium about to do the same for South America's poorest country, Bolivia?

With demand predicted to massively outstrip supply companies from across the world are now queuing up to register their interest with a government that's determined to keep its resources under state control.

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