Minerals exploration firm Galvanic Energy has secured a US site it claims will yield four-million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) for use in lithium-ion batteries.
Galvanic’s 100,000-acre site in the Smackwater Formation in Arkansas contains enriched concentrations of lithium and bromine dissolved in brine.
The firm estimates resources will be enough to power more than 50 million electric vehicles.
The inferred resource estimate makes this prospect the largest brine lithium prospect in North America.
Brent Wilson, Galvanic’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Given the United States’ current reliance on a foreign lithium supply chain, this resource has the potential to bring that goal into clearer focus, as it greatly expands the possibility of American self-reliance for lithium.”
Historical brine analyses in this region, from three separate studies, indicate significant resource potential for lithium and bromine, with average concentrations of 325 parts per million (ppm) and 4,000 ppm, respectively.
Unlike conventional lithium mining methods, which require open-pit mines or large evaporation ponds, brine-mining operations use a closed-looped system.
Brine is pumped out of the earth, elements of interest are extracted, and brine is returned to the Smackover Formation, a geologic formation that preserves fossils dating back to the Jurassic period.