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  • The Lithium Rush - Searching for the World's Lightest Metal

The Lithium Rush - Searching for the World's Lightest Metal

  • 14 Feb 2018
  • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Sheraton Tucson, 5151 E. Grant Road, Conference Center entrance on west side


  • Please make sure you have your dinner sponsorship approved by our Dinner Sponsor Chair prior to making your donation. Thank you!
  • Member of SME Tucson Section that reserves by the deadline.
  • Must be a current UA mining student and member of UA SME.

Program:  Dr. Ihor Kunasz will provide a history and update on the search for and development of Lithium deposits. 

Sponsor: Boart Longyear

The second half of the twentieth century saw a dramatic shift in the production of lithium chemicals from traditional pegmatite sources to brines. Today, the bulk of lithium carbonate (and hydroxide), which serves as the raw material for various downstream lithium chemicals, including lithium metal for the lithium batteries, is produced from the brines of the Salar de Atacama, Chile, the Salar del Hombre Muerto, Argentina and Clayton Valley Nevada, U.S.A. A new producer has started production in Argentina. There is minor production in Tibet and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Australian spodumene concentrates are converted to lithium carbonate in the PRC.

The resurgence in the potential development of electric cars has resulted in an exponential increase in exploration of new lithium brine deposits and the reassessment of some pegmatite deposits. Realistic projections for electric cars production are still questionable. The potentially large electric car market scenario has raised questions on the availability of sufficient lithium resources. However, since the original 1976 report on global lithium resources by the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, know lithium resources have almost quadrupled . Based on the best predictions, the lithium supply is more than adequate to meet the demand for electric cars well into the 21stcentury.

Registration Deadline is 12PM on Friday before dinner:

Include for EACH Person (badge will be printed as provided):

  1. First Name Spelled Out
  2. Last Name Spelled Out
  3. Company / Organization Spelled Out
Sheraton Tucson at 5151 E. Grant -- northeast corner of Grant & Rosemont. Use Conference Center Entrance on west side of the hotel.


$31 SME Tucson members who reserve by deadline.

$39 non-members who reserve by deadline.

Add $3 to above ($34/$42) for late RSVPs if space allows.

Free for current UA mining students who are UA SME members.

Payable at the door by cash, credit card, or check payable to SME Tucson.

Cost does not include bar drinks. Cash bar is available.

Cancellations and No Shows:
Please call or email by the registration deadline to cancel.  If you do not cancel your reservation by the deadline, SME is still required to pay for your dinner and you will in turn be billed. Thank you. 

SME Tucson Section
PO Box 65931
Tucson, Arizona 85728
(520) 314-5066
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