"The birds have gone, we can't keep animals anymore," he says. "It's getting harder and harder to grow crops. If it gets any worse... we will have to emigrate."
Atlas Obscura had some amazing images of lithium mining in a recent blog.
A recent National Geographic magazine also had an excellent report on this particular industry, which sits alongside cobalt mining as being an extractive industry which influences all of our lives, via the requirements of smartphone manufacture and other items needing batteries.
Lithium is used in the creation of batteries which have a long life, and are rapid to recharge, while being very light and compact.
One key area for lithium extraction is Bolivia.
The National Geographic article is here.
Electric cars are becoming more common on our streets, as the charging infrastructure expands and costs come down (or the maths make more sense as fuel prices rise)
There is still a way to go before they challenge conventional petrol engines, but they all need a battery, and batteries need lithium. The narrative that electric cars are better for the environment doesn't really play out when one considers all the costs.
The BBC recently explored the potential implications of this technology.
Electric Car Icon by Prashanth Rapolu from the Noun Project