The Tonopah Lithium Claystone (TLC) Project is a lithium claystone deposit located near the regional hub and county seat in the town of Tonopah, Nevada. Consequently, logistics (paved roads, power, etc.) are superior for development and water resources are not constricted as at Clayton Valley.
Samples at TLC run low in calcium, indicating the potential of utilizing low-cost heap leach process for recovery of lithium. Similar to Lithium America’s Kings Valley claystone deposit, TLC is on the periphery of an area of former uranium exploration, though none of the TLC samples taken carry appreciable uranium or thorium. Data from the uranium exploration indicates that sediments in this (sub) basin are at least 600 feet deep (Appendix B; Nevada Bureau of Mines Bulletin 92 indicates the sediments might be 1000 feet deep).
This diagram shows the setting of diatomite deposits in a lake and some of the processes that aided their formation. Rainfall produces streams that carry silica (Si02) and other nutrients, such as phosphorus (P), into the lake from nearby highlands. Silica also can enter the lake in air-fall ash that was erupted from vol canoes and deposited on the lake’s surface. Sunlight provides light for photosynthesis, which enables the diatoms to grow and bloom. After the diatoms bloom and die each year, their silica skeletons settle to the bottom of the lake and form a thin sedimentary layer. Over thousands of years, these layers accumulate to form a diatomite deposit.