It's funny how something as low-tech as salt deposits can become a precious commodity.
Gaston Brito / Reuters
Blocks of salt are cut and stacked on Uyuni salt lake, 311 miles, south of La Paz, Bolivia on Nov.28, 2010. The lake bed contains the world's largest reserve of lithium, and the Bolivian government plans to build a plant to produce up to 30,000 tons a year of lithium carbonate from the lake. Bolivia does not currently mine lithium, the main component of the rechargeable batteries that power products like cell phones, laptops and digital cameras.