Albemarle Inaugurates the first Botanical Nursery at the Salar de Atacama Plant

Albemarle Inaugurates the first Botanical Nursery at the Salar de Atacama Plant

Setting up Garden

In one of the driest deserts in the world, Albemarle has unveiled the first botanical nursery at its Salar De Atacama Plant in Chile. As part of the company's commitment to the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the area's ecosystems, the facility will help ensure a generation of biological knowledge.

"This inauguration represents our commitment to the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage of the Salar de Atacama basin,” said Country Manager Ignacio Mehech. “It’s a symbol of the legacy we want to create.”

The nursery is 115 feet (35 meters) long and 23 feet (7 meters) wide and will house 10 native azonal flora and up to 5,000 plants. The greenhouse is divided into three areas. The first, focused on production, aims to obtain vegetative material and the germination of seeds.

The second is for the development and regrowth of the specimens, which involves peeling or transplantation. The third area hardens the plant to prepare it for its destination in the field. The nursery has climate control and irrigations systems that simulate the azonal conditions of the species to maintain ideal conditions. The irrigation system recycles treated water from the Salar facility to water the nursery plants. These plants will eventually help reforest the area.

Albemarle Staff
Grand Opening of Botanical Garden
Looking at Plants

"It is essential, especially today, to find a balance between the needs of lithium production and the need to protect the environment and the inhabitants of the place. What we saw at this inauguration is an excellent example of how a North American company acts in a very responsible way and helps to find the appropriate balance between both needs," said Richard Glenn, Chargé d'Affaires of the United States Embassy in Chile.

Glenn noted Albemarle's commitment to hiring workers from the towns of the Salar de Atacama to contribute to the prosperity of the region and the country.

"We are faced with the challenge of combating climate change, where Albemarle as a lithium producer plays a key role, but they are also recovering the native species of the area, reforesting the desert, and doing tests in this natural laboratory together with the communities," said Alex Acuña, Ministerial Regional Secretariat of the Antofagasta Region.

In addition to Glenn and Acuña, the inauguration was attended by local authorities such as Justo Zuleta; the mayor of San Pedro de Atacama; Manuel Salvatierra, the president of the Council of Atacameño Peoples, and Amanda Barrera, the president of the Peine community.