Formation waters in the Alberta basin contain dissolved minerals in various concentrations. Of these, calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), lithium (Li), iodine (I) and bromine (Br) are found in places at concentrations above the corresponding regional and detailed exploration limits. Depending on resource amount and ability to pump formation waters for mineral extraction, the potential exists for the economic exploitation of these minerals from Alberta brines. Specific areas and stratigraphic intervals in Alberta with producibility potential for Ca, Mg, K, Li, I and Br were identified based on elemental concentrations above the respective exploration thresholds, minimum thickness and porosity of the host interval, and minimum rock permeability. The use of these criteria in estimating resources ensures that the respective mineral is found in potentially economic amounts and that it can be extracted from the host formation. The distributions of the various minerals are presented as maps per element, are and stratigraphic interval and are expressed as grams per m2 of land surface or t/km2. These maps can be used for exploration drilling, resource extraction and possible plant siting.
Calcium, magnesium, potassium and bromine in high concentrations are found, depending on location, between 1,240 m and 2,600 m in depth in Lower Elk Point Group strata in two areas in central-eastern Alberta, and in six areas in Beaverhill Lake Group strata in southern Alberta. Resources vary between 25 and 760 kg/m2 for Ca, 2 and 136 kg/m2 for Mg. Up to 116kg/m2 for K and up to 10 kg/m2 for Br. Lithium in high concentrations is found between 2,700 m and 4,000 m depth in west-central Alberta in reefal and platform carbonates of the Woodbend and Beaverhill Lake groups. Resources vary between 0.01 and 0.57kg/m2. Iodine in concentrations above the regional exploration threshold is found in Viking and Belly River strata in localized areas in south-central Alberta, at depths varying between 650 m and 950 m. Resources vary between 0.2 and 1.8 kg/m2
Bachu, S., Yuan, L.P. and Brulotte, M. (1995): Resource estimates of industrial minerals in Alberta formation waters; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Open File Report 1995-01, 65 p.