Salt Evaporation Ponds

When lithium salts are extracted from the water of mineral springs, brine pools and brine deposits, the metal is separated from other elements by pumping the lithium-rich brine into solar evaporation ponds.

Salt evaporation ponds, also called salterns or salt pans, are shallow man-made ponds or lakes designed to extract salts from the sea water or other brines. The sea water or brine contained in large ponds is naturally evaporated which allows the salt to be harvested.

Due to variable concentrations of algae, vivid colours – from pale green to bright red – are created in the evaporation ponds. The colour indicates the salinity of the ponds. Microorganisms change their hues as the salinity of the pond increases.

The ponds also provide a productive resting and feeding ground for many species of water birds, which may include endangered species.