Massive US Lithium Source Found – In Fracking Wastewater

Massive US Lithium Source Found – In Fracking Wastewater

Green Irony: A cosmic practical joke on environmentalists


The global, government-coerced transition into “green energy” has geologists scouring the Earth for new sources of lithium — the element that’s required for batteries, like those used in electric vehicles.

Now, in a cosmic practical joke on environmentalists, researchers say they’ve found a lithium mother lode — in Pennsylvania fracking wastewater. 

It turns out that the Marcellus Shale —  a long swath of sedimentary rock in the northeastern United States that holds huge amounts of frackable gas — holds huge quantities of lithium too. Justin Mackey and other researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pennsylvania were pleasantly surprise when they studied the contents of wastewater dredged up in the fracking process at 515 sites in the Keystone State, reports Science Alert.

Long before the frackers showed up, deep groundwater has been dissolving the lithium in the Marcellus Shale for eons. “It’s been dissolving rocks for hundreds of millions of years—essentially, the water has been mining the subsurface,” Mackey told the University of Pittsburgh‘s Brandie Jefferson.

When they analyzed the wastewater data, they were stunned by the volume of lithium. The shale “has the capacity to provide significant lithium yields for the foreseeable future” he says. Their detailed findings were published in Scientific Reports.

It’s unclear if other fracking hotspots have abundant lithium too. However, even using conservative estimates of how much can be recovered from the wastewater suggests that Pennsylvania alone could cover more than 30% of America’s 2024 demand. 

The US government is targeting lithium independence, with the Department of Energy specifically aiming for all of the country’s lithium needs to be covered by domestic production by 2030. That’s causing a mad rush — and conflicts that pit green energy boosters against environmentalists and American Indians who are litigating to shut down promising sources.

Case in point: the Thacker Pass mine in northern Nevada, which is supposed to be the nation’s largest open-pit lithium mine. Indian tribes suedclaiming the mine is too close to the site of an 1865 massacre.  Environmentalists suedsaying the mining process will destroy animal habitats and harm groundwater. Now the federal Fish and Wildlife Service is doing a year-long study on the potential impact to a tiny snail.

via ECIU

The United States is way behind other countries. Here’s the 2023 lithium production leaderboard according to Investing News Network:

  1. Australia: 86,000 metric tons (MT)
  2. Chile: 44,000
  3. China: 33,000
  4. Argentina: 9,600
  5. Brazil: 4,900
  6. Zimbabwe: 3,400
  7. Canada: 3,400 (tied for 6th)
  8. Portugal: 380
  9. USA: Production numbers withheld, purportedly to protect proprietary company data
An artisanal mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reportedly uses rotating 5,000-worker shifts (Junior Kannah/AFP via Getty and NPR)

Lithium and cobalt mining in third-world countries is often a highly toxic and hazardous enterprise. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, militias have reportedly abducted children and brought them to dig away to fulfill leftists’ green dreams. 

Here’s how Harvard’s Siddharth Kara described the horror show:

“You have to imagine walking around some of these mining areas and dialing back our clock centuries. People are working in subhuman, grinding, degrading conditions. They use pickaxes, shovels, stretches of rebar to hack and scrounge at the earth in trenches and pits and tunnels to gather cobalt and feed it up the formal supply chain.

“Cobalt is toxic to touch and breathe — and there are hundreds of thousands of poor Congolese people touching and breathing it day in and day out. Young mothers with babies strapped to their backs, all breathing in this toxic cobalt dust.”

Compared to that, harvesting Pennsylvania fracking wastewater sounds positively idyllic.

Whatya say, Greta?


(TLB) published this article from ZeroHedge as posted by Tyler Durden

Header featured image (edited) credit: Greta/org. ZH article

Emphasis added by (TLB)



Stay tuned tuned…


The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)


Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.


Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.


Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.