Friday, May 31, 2013

The "Salar de Uyuni": The wealthy White Desert


The world's largest salt flats remain an important economic resource. Formerly, the conservative properties of sodium chloride (aka table salt) led the first commercial farms. Currently, contain significant amounts of other minerals, previously considered negligible value, now become
invaluable future strategic resources. The Salar de Uyuni, the Saudi Arabia of "white gold".

The Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt desert in the world, with an area of ​​12,000 km ². It is located about 3650 meters high in the southwestern region of Bolivia (Potosí Department) in the Altiplano of Bolivia, on the Andes.

The Salar de Uyuni is estimated to contain 10 billion tons of salt, of which 25,000 tons are extracted each year and has 140 million tons of lithium, according to official data of the State Mining Corporation of Bolivia (Comibol), becoming in one of the largest global reserves of this mineral. There are about 11 layers of salt, with thicknesses ranging from two to ten meters. The crust is found on the surface has a thickness of 10 meters.

The Salar de Uyuni is also one of the main tourist destinations in Bolivia and is visited by about 60,000 tourists every year. Among its attractions are:

- Breeding of three species of flamingos: the Chilean, James's and Andean.

- Cactus giants up to 10 m high on Fish Island. This island is the largest of all the islands situated in the center of the Salar of Uyuni.

- Mummies of 3,000 years old discovered in a cave at the edge of the Salar.

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