Nasdaq-listed Westwater Resources’ application for water rights to develop lithium mining operations at its Sal Rica project, in the arid US state of Utah, has been approved.
The Department of Natural Resources of Utah granted the application to use 1.85-million cubic metres a year of water.
“Utah’s grant of water rights enables us to extract the lithium bearing brines from underground. We believe that owning the right to use the ground water materially differentiates our exploration projects from others in the area going forward,” says Westwater president and CEO Christopher Jones.
The Sal Rica lithium brine exploration project is located in the Pilot Valley area, north of the town of Wendover.
Historical exploration by Quintana Petroleum and more recent exploration by Mesa Exploration partially outlined a broad area of the Pilot Valley in which shallow brines are mineralised with lithium up to 81 parts per million (ppm). Subsequent in-fill and confirmation sampling by Westwater returned lithium values ranging from 40 ppm to 100 ppm lithium in 13 of the 14 samples.