A group of researchers from the University of Wyoming Carbon Management Insitute have discovered a "vast new lithium resource" located near Rock Springs in Wyoming. The discovery was made during a geological carbon dioxide storage site characterization project that was sponsored by the US Department of Energy.
Lithium is an important component in the construction of lithium-ion batteries, the current battery technology used by smartphones, laptops, and hybrid cars. The US currently imports about 80 percent of all lithium used domestically. Estimates for the 25-square-mile area surveyed place the total amount of lithium at about 228,000 tons of lithium, which is enough to meet annual US demand.
To help put this number in perspective, the lithium reserves at Silver Peak, Nev. -- the largest domestic producer of lithium -- total 118,000 tons in a 20-square-mile area. In a best-case scenario, the 2,000-square-mile Rock Springs Uplift could harbor up to 18 million tons of lithium, equivalent to about 720 years of current global lithium production.
I highly recommend checking out source #1 below to see the full press release from the University of Wyoming.
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