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Lithium brines; a global perspective

Lee Ann Munk, Scott A. Hynek, Dwight C. Bradley, David Boutt, Keith Labay and Hillary Jochens
Lithium brines; a global perspective (in Rare earth and critical elements in ore deposits, Philip L. Verplanck (editor) and Murray W. Hitzman (editor))
Reviews in Economic Geology (January 2016) 18: 339-365


Lithium is a critical and technologically important element that has widespread use, particularly in batteries for hybrid cars and portable electronic devices. Global demand for lithium has been on the rise since the mid-1900s and is projected to continue to increase. Lithium is found in three main deposit types: (1) pegmatites, (2) continental brines, and (3) hydrothermally altered clays. Continental brines provide approximately three-fourths of the world's Li production due to their relatively low production cost. The Li-rich brine systems addressed here share six common characteristics that provide clues to deposit genesis while also serving as exploration guidelines. These are as follows: (1) arid climate; (2) closed basin containing a salar (salt crust), a salt lake, or both; (3) associated igneous and/or geothermal activity; (4) tectonically driven subsidence; (5) suitable lithium sources; and (6) sufficient time to concentrate brine. Two detailed case studies of Li-rich brines are presented; one on the longest produced lithium brine at Clayton Valley, Nevada, and the other on the world's largest producing lithium brine at the Salar de Atacama, Chile.

ISSN: 0741-0123
EISSN: 2374-443X
Serial Title: Reviews in Economic Geology
Serial Volume: 18
Title: Lithium brines; a global perspective
Title: Rare earth and critical elements in ore deposits
Author(s): Munk, Lee AnnHynek, Scott A.Bradley, Dwight C.Boutt, DavidLabay, KeithJochens, Hillary
Author(s): Verplanck, Philip L.editor
Author(s): Hitzman, Murray W.editor
Affiliation: University of Alaska, Department of Geological Sciences, Anchorage, AK, United States
Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO, United States
Pages: 339-365
Published: 20160101
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Economic Geologists, Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 9781629490922
References: 101
Accession Number: 2020-013152
Categories: Economic geology, geology of ore deposits
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch maps
N37°30'00" - N38°00'00", W118°00'00" - W117°25'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Pennsylvania State University, USA, United StatesU. S. Geological Survey, USA, United StatesUniversity of Massachusetts, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 202009
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
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