Lithium is one of the most sought after resources today. Smartphones, tablets, notebooks and even solar and wind power generators all rely on lithium-ion batteries.
Currently, the United States imports about 80% of the lithium that it requires annually. The remaining 20% is obtained locally and much of it is obtained from Silver Peak, Nevada, the largest resource of lithium in the United States. It is estimated that Silver Peak contains around 118,000 tons of lithium in a 20-square-mile area.
Recently, researchers at the University of Wyoming Carbon Management Institute discovered a vast new lithium resource near Rock Springs, Wyoming. Preliminary analyses estimates that a 25-square-mile area of Rock Springs could contain as much as 228,000 tons of lithium - more than enough to meet annual demand.
Researchers added that in a best case scenario, the source at the 2000-square-mile area of Rock Springs could potentially yield up to 18 million tons of lithium. That's the equivalent of 720 years of current global production and enough to meet United States demand for almost a century.
In addition, Fred McLaughlin, the Carbon Management Institute's senior petrologist also said that site could contain other recoverable, economically valuable metals and salts.
Source: University of Wyoming