Bulletin 062

Bulletin 062

BUL 062

Industrial Mineral Potential of Alberta Formation Waters

Nearly 130 000 analyses of formation waters from Alberta and adjacent areas were searched for contents of Ca, Mg, K, Br, I and Li exceeding specified regional exploration thresholds. The 5280 analyses meeting these criteria comprise the formation water industrial mineral data base, of which only 79 show these components xceeding the detailed exploration thresholds (Ca 60 000 mg/l, Mg 9000 mg/l, K 10 000 mg/l, Br 3000 mg/l, 1 100 mg/l, Li 75 mg/l). Concentration contour maps and data-point distribution maps identified areas and aquifers for which resource estimation was ustified. Using information from well logs, drillstem tests and core analyses, areas were identified in each target aquifer which met the combined criteria of exceeding the detailed exploration threshold for element concentration as well as aquifer thickness (>10m), porosity (>5%) and permeability (>10-14 m2, 10 millidarcies). Resource estimates were made, and are compiled, for these identified reas and aquifers. The estimates are based on element concentrations and water producibility alone, and indicate only a potential to be of economic interest; no implication with respect to economic recoverability should be construed. In view of the present market conditions, and taking into account comparisons with commercial operations elsewhere in the world, it is suggested that of the element concentrations found in Alberta formation waters only that of Li may be of additional interest at this time because contents are similar to those of the major USA producer. The study recommends that industry continue to analyze formation waters for Ca, Mg, Br, I and Li in selected aquifers and areas.

Hitchon, B., Bachu, S., Underschultz, J.R. and Yuan, L.P. (1995): Industrial mineral potential of Alberta formation waters; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Bulletin 62, 69 p.