Paradox Basin brine

Region West, Southwest
Mineral systems
Deposit types
Critical minerals
Other minerals

Information leading to the delineation of this focus area

Basis for focus area Outline of extent of potash evaporite mineralization (as KCl) in the Paradox Basin; basin brine is likely to be roughly coincident with potash extent which represents an evolved brine; outline from Hite and Cater (1972).
Identified resources Identified resources of bromine and lithium.
Production No known production from brines in the Paradox Basin; past production of potash from evaporite deposits.
Status Current lithium exploration; past potash and magnesium exploration.
Estimated resources Indicated and Inferred resource of 192,000 t LCE in brine averaging from 73 to 175 ppm Li; Indicated and Inferred resource of 1.176 Mt of Br in brine averaging over 3000 ppm Br (Anson Resources, 2020a); these resource estimates are for the area of Anson Resources' Paradox Brine project.
Geologic maps Horton and others (2017), scale 1:500,000.
Geophysical data Inadequate aeromagnetic coverage and partly adequate (5%) aeroradiometric coverage.
Favorable rocks and structures Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation hosts the favorable brines.
Deposits Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation brines.
Evidence from mineral occurrences UMOS (Utah Geological Survey, 2021).
Geochemical evidence Anson Resources (2020a) reported Li concentration in brines of the Paradox Basin up to 253 ppm. Rupke and Boden (2020) compiled Li brine data from the area that show concentrations up to 500 ppm Li. New Tech Lithium Co. (formerly American Potash, now New Tech Minerals) reportedly observed elevated Li concentrations within subsurface brines during potash exploration in the Paradox Basin within Colorado. According to New Tech, Li-bearing brines have been documented in historical oil and gas wells, and one potash exploration well, in this region (Lisbon Valley and Andy's Mesa oil field).
Geophysical evidence Unknown.
Evidence from other sources Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining's Live Data Search, Online Oil and Gas Information System (
Comments Several companies have staked claims for Li in the Paradox Basin, but to date, Anson Resources has done the most exploration by re-entering abandoned oil and gas wells to sample brines in the Paradox Formation. In addition to New Tech Lithium Co., at least one other company has reported some interest (MGX Minerals) in this area (San Miguel County, Colorado).
Cover thickness and description The brines are found in the Paradox Formation which is generally a few thousand to several thousand feet below the surface.
Authors Lisa L. Stillings, Andrew Rupke.
New data needs The area needs a comprehensive compilation of existing geochemical data. New geochemical sampling and analysis of brines to define the grade and extent of resource.
Geologic mapping and modeling needs Surface mapping not appropriate; 3D formation map needed.
Geophysical survey and modeling needs Well correlation stratigraphy and isopach/isochore maps needed.
Digital elevation data needs Not appropriate.