Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Lithium Discovery in Wyoming

A new lithium discovery in Wyoming is good news for the domestic battery industry and green energy storage in general.  Researchers at the University of Wyoming, while exploring deep brine deposits as potential reservoirs for CO2, discovered the lithium beneath the Rock Springs uplift in Southwest Wyoming.  This is in the same vicinity as the massive Green River shale oil deposits and one of the largest soda ash mines in the world.  Great news for Wyoming's economy and for energy storage efforts in the future.  Here's a link to a local Wyoming source for the news.

The discovery highlights several advantages of tapping Wyoming's lithium reserves. First the Rock Springs Uplift formation is located within 30 miles of one of the world's largest industrial soda ash mines. Production of lithium from brines requires soda ash, and being that close to such a large supply reduces delivery costs.  Removing magnesium from the lithium laden brine is another significant cost, but there appears to be little magnesium in these brine deposits,  Finally, the brines in the Rock Springs Uplift are very deep and the increased pressure and temperature facilitates the extracting of the lithium in solution.  Ease of extraction reduces costs further.
Overall, great stuff.

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