The Salinas Grandes in the Northwestern corner of Argentina spans the borders of four provinces. 1.5 million years ago, between the late Pleistocene and the Holocene, a vast freshwater lake at the foot of the Sierras de Córdoba mountain range evaporated and left behind the waters residual minerals.
Its mined for Sodium, Potassium and more recently, Lithium. The latter, a highly sought after resource, a relatively rare element, and always found in low concentrations. Chile has the largest reserves at 7.5 million tonnes, followed by Bolivia, Argentina and China. Its uses vary from batteries to medicine, air purification and military applications. The least dense solid element, and predominately found in the oceans and from the brines lying underneath the salt that the ocean leaves behind.