Nevada lithium

Region West, Southwest
Mineral systems
Deposit types
Other minerals

Information leading to the delineation of this focus area

Basis for focus area Lithium brine and clay; large focus area outlining playas from Nevada state geologic map (buffered with 5 km to include surrounding alluvium) in northwestern and central Nevada.
Identified resources None.
Production None.
Status Active exploration projects, including Railroad Valley, Dixie Valley, and Gabbs Valley. Multiple presumed lithium placer claims.
Estimated resources Unknown.
Geologic maps Stewart and Carlson (1978), scale 1:500,000.
Geophysical data Partly adequate (5%) aeromagnetic coverage. Inadequate aeroradiometric coverage.
Favorable rocks and structures Unconsolidated sediments in closed basins.
Deposits None (at this time).
Evidence from mineral occurrences Active exploration in multiple HUC8s. MRDS occurrences for lithium, borates in some playas.
Geochemical evidence Lithium analyses for Dixie Valley (Huntington and others, 2014); Lithium analyses in sediments across Nevada (Bohannon and Meier, 1976).
Geophysical evidence Unknown.
Evidence from other sources Nevada inferred placer claims for lithium (Nevada Division of Minerals Open Site Data, 2022).
Comments Models for Li brines and clays both require a Li source, and the source will be Neogene volcanic and sedimentary rocks within a HUC or within a neighboring HUC. Mapping could identify these lithologies and their location with respect to basins (in the center of a HUC).
Cover thickness and description Sediment and clay at the surface and at depth.
Authors Lisa L. Stillings.
New data needs Geologic mapping, geophysics, geochemistry.
Geologic mapping and modeling needs Updated geologic mapping.
Geophysical survey and modeling needs High-resolution, Rank 1 aeromagnetic and aeroradiometric surveys. Any geophysics that can define basin depth, geometry, volume, cross-cutting structures would be helpful for calculating the volume of brine, where to drill in the basin, or whether basin fluids might flow into an adjacent basin.
Digital elevation data needs Lidar inadequate for much of this large focus area; some areas in progress.