Special Report 114

Author(s) Date 2022-06-16

The Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) has a long history of oil and gas development, but a global shift towards more sustainable energy solutions has created a renewed interest in the WCSB for the exploration and development of critical minerals. Two of the minerals garnering interest are lithium, driven by an increasing demand for use in modern technologies such as rechargeable batteries; and helium, driven by an increasing demand for use in medical and technology industries as well as a depletion of the United States helium reserves in storage.

In 2020, the Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) began a project to investigate Alberta’s prospectivity for lithium and helium resources. Structural features in the Alberta basin may allow fluid to migrate upwards from the Precambrian basement, and this fluid could be related to lithium-enriched brines and/or helium-rich gas reservoirs. As a part of the lithium and helium project the AGS decided to investigate this possibility.

In November 2020, Ronacher McKenzie Geoscience was contracted to use publicly available geophysical data to provide a structural interpretation and highlight features of interest in two specified areas: 1) near the Peace River Arch in west-central and northwestern Alberta (NTS map sheets 83F, K, M, and N; 84C and D); and in southern Alberta, south of Lethbridge (NTS map sheets 72E and 82H). The associated GIS data files are available in AER/AGS Digital Data 2021-0020.

This report provides the results of the geophysical interpretation. This interpretation does not include any relationships to lithium, helium, or fluid flow regimes, but rather is a look at features found in the geophysical data. Aside from the cover, copyright information, and this page, the report is published as-received from the vendor. The publication should not be taken as a promotion or endorsement of the vendor.

Place Keywords

McKenzie, J., Ronacher, E. and Farahani, F. (2022): Interpretation of geophysical data, west-central and southern Alberta, to support investigations of He and Li resource potential; Alberta Energy Regulator/ Alberta Geological Survey, AER/AGS Special Report 114, 35 p.