RARE EARTH ELEMENTS IN SUBSURFACE BRINES OF SASKATCHEWAN: PRELIMINARY FINDINGS
Previous research has demonstrated that oilfield brines potentially contain economic concentrations of elements such as Li, however there is a paucity of information regarding REE, specifically in western Canada. Accordingly, this work investigates the REE potential of the Western Canada Sedimentary and Williston Basins through an integration of statistical analyses of drill core data and a wellhead brine sampling program. Analysis of existing geochemical core data from Alberta and Saskatchewan indicates that REE are enriched in Jurassic aged clastic successions with a potential detrital source. Information gleaned from the analysis of core data was used to guide a brine sampling program, with samples being collected from oil wells producing from Mesozoic aged clastic successions in western Saskatchewan, followed by analysis of the brines for REE by ICP-MS. This study presents new insights into whether oilfield brines from the Western Canada and Williston Basins of Saskatchewan and Alberta could be a potential source of REE, as well as assessing their potential sources within the basin.