Salt for sale; BLM seeks buyers

RENO, NEVADA—The Bureau of Land Management, Nevada, is seeking interested parties with the means to buy and process approximately 5.5 million metric tons of salt.

The salt is a byproduct of more than four decades of lithium carbonate processing done by Rockwood Lithium, formerly Chemetall Foote Corporation.  The salt consists of approximately 70 percent sodium chloride and 19 percent potassium chloride mechanically scraped from evaporative ponds used in lithium mining. Both salts may be marketable, but must first be processed to a higher percentage of sodium and/or potassium to be marketable. The stockpile of salts also contains lithium at approximately ½ percent of the total volume. The lithium is the property of Rockwood.

Under the terms of a 1991 Settlement Agreement between the United States and Rockwood’s predecessor, Rockwood maintains first rights to any remaining lithium in the salt stockpiles.  It further provides that the United States maintains the rights to the potassium and sodium in the stockpiles, but may not dispose of those minerals until the stockpiles no longer contain lithium in economic quantities.  A copy of the June 1991 Settlement Agreement between the Cyprus Foote Mineral Company and the United States of America/Department of Justice can be accessed online. The BLM encourages potentially interested parties to carefully review the terms of the settlement agreement before initiating a Notice of Interest.

The salts are located in three stockpiles approximately 50 miles southwest of Tonopah, Nevada, near the town of Silver Peak. For a map showing the location of the stockpiles, please visit the following link.  For more information, please visit the BLM Salable Minerals web page link.

Parties expressing interest in participating in a competitive sale of the stockpiles must be authorized to transact business in Nevada.  Interested parties should submit a letter of interest to the following address:

Bureau of Land Management
Nevada State Office
Attention:  Mike Herder
Acting Deputy State Director, Minerals Management
1340 Financial Blvd.
Reno, NV 89502.

In response to this notice, the BLM will review submissions from interested parties and determine whether competitive interest exists in the Federal Mineral Salt Stockpiles described above.  If the BLM determines sufficient competitive interest exists, and the sale terms of the settlement agreement are resolved, the BLM may use a competitive bidding process, consistent with BLM regulations, to conduct the competitive sale.

This notice is a request for expressions of interest only.  Even if competitive interest is expressed, it is possible that no competitive sale will take place due to the need for a waiver and for negotiated stipulations, discussed above.

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