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Lithium Potential in Northeast BC Mapped by New Geoscience BC Research

Press Release

Vancouver, BC – February 29, 2024 – New research from Geoscience BC shows potential locations and concentrations of the critical metal lithium in British Columbia’s Northeast Region.

Lithium is an essential component of the lithium-ion batteries found in many devices such as phones and electric vehicles. With the World Bank forecasting that lithium demand could grow by nearly 500% by 2050, secure sources of lithium are essential to a transition to a net-zero emissions economy.

The NEBC Lithium – Formation Water Database project tested brines from deep below the surface at producing natural gas wells to create the first database of lithium and other critical metals in Northeast BC formation waters. The results indicate that it may be economic to extract lithium from the brines alongside natural gas development in the region. The project includes a detailed dataset and mapping that can inform decisions by industry, Indigenous groups, government and communities.

The study provides encouraging early results, and notes that further formation brine sampling and analysis will help to further understand the opportunity for lithium and other critical minerals in the subsurface of Northeast BC.

Northern Development CEO Joel McKay said: “Northern Development applauds the work undertaken by Geoscience BC in the search for lithium within northeast BC’s subsurface brine. Recognizing the global shift towards sustainable energy solutions, the identification and utilization of lithium deposits represent a significant opportunity in the region.”

Geoscience BC Manager, Energy and Water Randy Hughes said: “There is high demand for secure sources of lithium. Data to locate, assess and extract this critical metal can help ensure a home-grown supply and boost Canada’s transition toward a net-zero emissions economy.”

This project was a collaboration between the Geoscience BC, LithiumBank, Natural Resources Canada and Northern Development.

Accessing information

To view the reports and maps, visit the project page or view the information on Geoscience BC’s Earth Science Viewer online mapping application.

About Geoscience BC

Geoscience BC’s independent, public geoscience is a first link in the supply chain for Canada’s net-zero emissions economy.

Our critical minerals and metals, cleaner energy and geological carbon capture and storage research is funded by industry, government and other partners. It informs evidence-based decisions by industry, governments, Indigenous groups and communities.

Geoscience BC is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors, technical and Indigenous volunteers and by Geoscience BC members. We are a not-for-profit society incorporated under the BC Societies Act.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of our partners, including the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

Visit or follow us @GeoscienceBC to find out more.

For more information, please contact:

Richard Truman

Geoscience BC

604-662-4147 / 778-929-1662



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