Kangsu Kong

"Sounds of Lithium Mining"

Section MS5, Bahar Noorizadeh

Keywords: music/sound, extraction, environment

Emerging electric-vehicle technologies and the global transition to renewable energy have driven the production of lithium batteries significantly in the past ten years. Chile is now facing the environmental issues brought by the lithium mining. The purpose of my project is to show the environmental impacts that the lithium mining extraction brings and bring awareness to environmental protection.

Most of the world’s lithium production takes place in South America, where 70% of global reserves are concentrated. Chile, as a leading producer, takes up an average of 38% of worldwide lithium production in the past twenty years and the lithium mining in the Atacama Salt Flat, as the world’s largest lithium extraction site, is facing increasing environmental issues such as the shortage of water, air pollution and soil degradation.

My medium will be sound: more specifically, the sounds of the products that are made of lithium mining in our daily life, such as glass, laptop, medical pills, metals and the electric car. I will edit these sounds in a story line. For example, the common sounds at 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm of a normal day of my life. I went for a field trip to Chile half a month ago and I also recorded the sounds that I could hear at those marked times of my daily routine. I combined and edited the sounds I recorded in different places.