Projects

Railroad Property

Blue Eagle has a 100% Working Interest in 200 placer claims in Railroad Valley, Nevada, a highly prospective green-fields lithium brine target in the heart of the Basin and Range geologic province.

The staked claims cover 4,000 acres (~1,619 hectares) over a large portion of Railroad Valley’s dry lakebed (playa), and are ready for the next phase of lithium exploration.

Blue Eagle’s Railroad Property warrants surface and shallow drilling evaluation for possible surface-mineable lithium-rich units based on various sources of geological data, including:

  • Extensive lithium-rich shales
  • Mudstones outcropping & tested to shallow depth in nearby lithium-producing Clayton Valley
  • Shallow fine-grained sediments including mudstone, shale and volcanic ash units
  • Recent surface sampling within the Railroad Valley

The primary exploration target within the Railroad Property would be more recent playa sediments, mostly within 2,000 feet (610 meters) of the valley’s surface.

Test wells will be drilled to provide lithologic data and lithium analysis samples.

Blue Eagle’s Railroad Property Claim Block. Download here.

To date, the Railroad Valley Basin contains the only significant oil and gas fields in Nevada.  Nevada’s first oil field, Eagle Springs was discovered by Shell in 1954.  Since then, the Railroad Valley has produced a total of 47,000,000 barrels of oil. (Louis C. Bortz, “Oil Fields in Railroad Valley Nevada”, Search and Discovery Article #20376, 2016)

Oil Field (Year Discovered)

Barrels of Oil Produced (Cumulative)

Production Wells

Productive Area (acres)

Eagle Springs (1954)

5,615,504

20

640

Trap Spring (1976)

15,425,759

41

2,440

Grant Canyon (1983)

21,407,314

6

300

Bacon Flat (1981)

1,055,833

2

80

Kate Spring (1986)

2,514,560

6

200

Other

1,104,828

9

400

Total

47,139,880

 

 

Railroad Valley – Summary of Oil Fields

The Railroad Valley bedrock below the basin fill has produced the majority of Nevada’s oil and has provided dense material in the form of seismic surveys and drill logs to evaluate the potential of a saturated brine pool.  There are hundreds of well logs and seismic data that can be investigated and evaluated to complete the geologic picture in light of current lithium brine-formation theories.

Oil well analysis has indicated raised levels of electrical conductivity within the Railroad Valley.  In comparison to the Clayton Valley, they show elevated salinity to greater depths, thus suggesting abnormal concentrations of brine.  Blue Eagle’s land position is situated within the resistivity anomaly.

The presence of gravity lows is significant as it provides geological clues to the presence of underground lithium bearing aquifers.  Salt domes, for example, are typically expressed in gravity maps as lows, given that salt has low density in relation to the rocks the dome intrudes.

Within the Area of Interest (AOI), management has focused on the claims within the southern Railroad Valley due to a combination of factors, largely the combination of gravity surveys indicating a discrete, closed gravity low coincident with a zone of high electrical conductivity, highly anomalous surface sediment samples enriched with lithium, and the potential to expand its footprint as warranted.

The Railroad Valley is one of the longest, topographically closed drainage basins in Nevada. It hosts a larger surface playa, larger catchment area and deeper basin fill than the Clayton Valley.  An interior drainage basin with several thermal springs and oil and gas well information, confirms that the playa sediments contain tuffaceous volcanic material.  In total, the characteristics of the Railroad Valley are consistent with current theories of lithium brine formation in closed basins and fit the current geological model and understanding of lithium brine deposit occurrences (as defined by USGS Open File 2013-1006).

Many of the wells drilled for oil and gas have penetrated brine-bearing horizons, but few of these brines have been analyzed for lithium. The geological features of the Railroad Valley are becoming better understood from published airborne mag and gravity maps and proprietary geophysical work.  Thus, there is significant potential for the brine pool to be larger than currently hypothesized due to the thickness and continuity of the deposit.

Blue Eagle’s brine exploration program will build on existing oil field data, and use the experiences conducted at Clayton Valley and other Li-brine basins to target potential brine aquifers.  

Railroad Valley/Railroad Property Location, Central Nevada

Regional Geological Background

General surface sampling in the Railroad Valley has indicated economically interesting levels of lithium in sediments.

In addition, published maps, geophysical surveys and proprietary surveys have enabled a fairly detailed structural interpretation of Railroad Valley’s basin development.

Read more about the Railroad Valley region here

Taken together, these factors are consistent with current theories of lithium brine formation, indicate substantial potential for lithium, and are comparable to geological factors present in the nearby lithium-producing Clayton Valley.

Established Infrastructure & Roadways

The Railroad Property is roughly 48 miles to the southwest of Ely, Nevada, where accommodations, skilled workers and heavy equipment are available.

The property is located around 125 miles (200 km) south of Elko, where drilling/mining contractors and services are available.

The Railroad Property can be reached from Ely via US Highway 6 and gravel roads built to handle traffic for oil extraction activities.

  • Extensive lithium-rich shales
  • Mudstones outcropping & tested to shallow depth in nearby lithium-producing Clayton Valley
  • Shallow fine-grained sediments including mudstone, shale and volcanic ash units
  • Recent surface sampling within the Railroad Valley

Lithium Brine Advantage

Brine is universally accepted as the most cost-effective type of lithium resource to process, and the source responsible for the majority of global lithium production.

Blue Eagle plans to recover and produce low-cost, high-quality lithium from brines, using innovative processing technologies that represent the following advantages:

  • 21st Century Process Technology versus “Conventional Evaporation Processes”
  • Potential Recovery> 90% vs <50%
  • Independent of weather and climate
  • Significantly shortens time to market (months to hours)
  • Smaller environmental footprint

Initial Geological Data Analysis

Blue Eagle’s team will analyze available samples, well logs and seismic data to complete the geologic picture for the Railroad Property in light of current lithium brine-formation theories.

Well log and geophysical data may be acquired from past and current oil and gas producers that consider sharing the information in question.

Of particular interest is the Railroad Valley’s massive gravity low, a geological feature that provides clues to the presence of underground lithium-bearing brines or aquifers.

Blue Eagle’s Railroad Property is located on Railroad Valley’s southern gravity low.

Railroad Valley’s Northern & Southern Bouger Gravity Low Readings

Historical Area Data

USGS Report 1975
USGS Report 1976
USGS Nevada Claims

Exploration Program

Following the initial data analysis, Blue Eagle plans a groundwater exploration program to discover a reservoir of brine within the sedimentary host basin with economically viable concentrations of lithium.

Initial exploration steps would include infill surface sampling together with ground-based electrical geophysical surveying, followed by drilling.

An initial drilling program would involve 2 holes to test specific structural and stratigraphic targets identified by the geophysical surveys

Given success with the preliminary exploratory drill holes in finding brine aquifers and anomalous lithium contents, additional holes would be placed to expand on the information relating to basin hydrogeology, leading to resource estimation.

If warranted by brine presence and lithium concentration levels, more detailed studies will determine the hydrogeological characteristics of the aquifer units for lithium production

Property Highlights

  • Large interior drainage basin in Railroad Valley with playa sediments at surface, similar to the nearby Pine Valley, both of which are oil producers from buried Paleozoic carbonate rocks
  • Tuffaceous volcanic sediments and thermal springs
  • Shares many similarities with Clayton Valley, Nevada
  • Hundreds of well logs and other data adding to the knowledge database
  • Numerous untested brine targets, including those at depth which have been penetrated during extensive drilling for oil
  • Lithium values occur on surface as demonstrated by Zenith Minerals recent sampling
  • Cheaper mining costs than traditional hard rock mining
  • Evaporation ponds can be used for production
  • Close to infrastructure (power and transportation)
  • Stable political environment