“University of Wyoming researchers found the lithium while studying the idea of storing carbon dioxide underground in the Rock Springs Uplift, a geologic formation in southwest Wyoming. University of Wyoming Carbon Management Institute director Ron Surdam stated that the lithium was found in underground brine. Surdam estimated the located deposit at roughly 228,000 tons in a 25-square-mile area. Extrapolating the data, Surdam said as the uplift covered roughly 2,000 square miles, there could be up to 18 million tons of lithium there, worth up to roughly $500 billion at current market prices.
As a yardstick, the lithium reserves at Silver Peak, Nevada, the largest domestic producer of lithium total 118,000 tons in a 20-square-mile area. The University of Wyoming stated that in a best-case scenario, the Rock Springs Uplift’s 18 million tons of potential lithium reserves is equivalent to roughly 720 years of current global lithium production. UW researchers suggest that the lithium mining could be part of a carbon dioxide sequestrationoperation, since the lithium-bearing brine must be pumped to the surface from the underground rock formation to extract the lithium, creating space to store the CO2 in its place. Surdam highlighted the economic advantages to the combined lithium-CO2 storage operation, commenting, “You get paid to put the carbon in the subsurface and that’ll pay for the wells to remove the lithium.” …”Comments »