Years in the making, the film tells the story of the communities of Salinas Grandes, Jujuy province, who resist the arrival of mining companies for lithium extraction in Argentina
Clemente Flores lives in the El Moreno community in Salinas Grandes, Jujuy, Argentina, where indigenous communities are trying to prevent mining companies from extracting lithium. The amount of water needed to obtain the mineral, used to power electric car and phone batteries, would radically alter their way of life, Clemente argues.
In the name of lithium, a new documentary directed by Cristian Cartier and Martín Longo, tells the story of a conflict generated by lithium extraction. The film, which took more than five years to make, is available online for free until 9 August and is then scheduled for release in cinemas across Argentina.
“We are not saying no to lithium. What worries us is water management. We see what is happening in other provinces of the country where the mineral is already being extracted and they use thousands of litres of water.
If they set up here, we won’t have water for us, for our livestock and for the wild animals,” says Clemente from El Moreno.
The lithium rush in Argentina
The province of Jujuy is the centre of Argentina’s lithium conflict, storing 36% of the country’s total. There, Sales de Jujuy, a company formed by the Japanese Toyota, t Canada’s Orocobre and provincial company JEMSE, operate the only mine, in operation in the locality of Olaroz.