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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
August 7, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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August 7, 1997

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4"Thursday, August 7, 199"7 Pahrump Vallty Gazette Horn, F.llcmm & Sen00 ""' Whirlpool tma,zne (ro) 7.t5+% 1370E. M Ln I,NV Auto Accidents Bankruptcy Criminal Defense Divorce Incorporation Wills & Trusts IAW OFFICES OF LOUIS M. MINICOZZI, III A Professional Corporation PAHRUMP 361 S+ Frontage Rd.- Suite 2 Telephone: (702) 751-1200. LAS VEGAS 333 N Rancho Dr.- Suite 410 T,x)hone:+(_702) 6484950 olfFme: (BSB) 2-lg+tr .O#100n00s From $IZ.95 .T.ne. ups From $1.9.95 ...... .nam00on . nu (WED0 Motorhomes, Nsolll) M.lr a:a,.m.-ap.m, and Sp.m.- lOp.re. J Out Esmeralda Way by Carol Sirnes Where are all the butterflies? So far this year, only three have been seen at this end of town. Maybe with the cooler temperatures and gustier afternoon winds they just can't make it. Several months ago, four hummingbirds started drinking from the feeder and one was smart enough to stand on the base of the feeder while drinking. They are a delight to watch. On a windy Saturday, July 27, a picnic party was held at Goldfield Park as a farewell to school teachers Marge and Jim Cunningham and a welcome to new Esmeralda County School Superintendent Don Francom and his family. It was potluck with fun and food. Marvin Ealey barbecued hotdogs and hamburgers. Jim and Marge both taught at Silver Peak Elementary School with Jim teaching 5-8 grades while Marge taught preschool and special education. They have moved to Las Vegas where Jim will be teaching at Helen Herr Elementary School and Marge at Albert Edwards Elementary School. The community wishes them the best in their future endeavors. Lithium; treasure fi om the desert In this series of businesses in Esmeralda county, the first will be Cyprus Foote Mineral, a division of Cyprus Minerals Company, a worldwide leader in the mining, manufacturing, and marketing of lithium products. They have chemical plants in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennes- see, and also own and operate a plant in Chile, South America. The Great Basin Desert of Nevada is a forbidding expanse of sagebrush, salt dunes, and tall peaks of sparse vegetation, bearing little resemblance to their neighbors in the nearby Sierras. The Clayton Valley of Esmeralda County is such an expanse. In the rain shadow of the westerly White Moun- tains, it receives only three and a half inches of precipita- tion a year. The ranges on each side of the valley, as high as 8,400 feet to the east and 9,400 feet to the west, concentrate that little moisture and contribute it to the recharge of Clayton Valley. While nature has denied much to the area around Silver Peak, it also has set up a rare set of conditions that make this desolate desert basin valuable to man. This specific set of conditions - chemical, climatologi- cal, geological, geographical, and hydrological - has made it possible for man to recover lithium from beneath the Clayton Valley playa, one of only two places in the world where the element is recovered from brine. By 1991, Cyprus Foote Mineral Company had recov- ered 3000,000,000 pounds of lithium carbonate from briny aquifers beneath the valley floor in the last 25 years. The 'mining' of lithium at Silver Peak is similar to that of sulphur in West Texas or Trona in California. A salt brine is pumped from a series of aquifers of ash, salt, sand and gravel. The only fresh water is found at the margins of the playa. The wells average 700 feet deep. Nothing is injected into the ground. Then nature is made to work for man again. The saline solution is flowed into a series of 22 ponds covering more than 44,000 acres. Here, through the work of the desert sun, it i-s allowed to concentrate. With between 40 and 60 production wells operating l k any time, several million gallons of brine are pumped eaclb day. In two 30-acre ponds, lime is added to the brine. The calcium oxide causes the precipitation magnesium hy- droxide and calcium sulphate These precipitates are then dredged from the ponds to a sludge-containment reservoir. When optimum concentration has taken place, it is then pumped about three miles to the processing plant in the township of Silver Peak. The automatic processing plant uses a propriety system of heating, treating, filtering, reacting and drying steps to create the end product. The p!ant operates 24 hours a day for most of the month. Lithium carbonate is also converted to other chemical forms such as in the ceramic industry, where its fluxing action benefits the production of ceramics, glasses, glazes and enamels. Lithium batteries are becoming popular items because of increased power and longer shelf life. They include the 9-volt and "AA", and are important to the industry and the military. Other uses for lithium are lubricants, (multipurpose greases); a catalyst in the production of synthetic rubber; lithium hydroxide granules are used to absorb carbon dioxide in submarines, space vehicles and portable life support systems; and as a pharmaceutical, lithium com- pounds are used in the synthesis of vitamin A and in the treatment of manic-depressive disorder, plus many other USES. Target Construction also plays a very impoant part for this industry as they maintain the dikes that separate the ponds and about 200 miles of roads around this vast property. The goal of Cyprus Foote is to increase the company's value to employees, customers, owners and local conmu- nities. (Information for this article was supplied by Cyprus Foote Mineral Company in Silver Peak, Nev.) m777 (888) 85700707 Pax ISl Canteen Bakery & Party Shop 1061ESecondSL VALLEY BIKES+ Ports lmed Sendc 751-2453 ILESS 11RES ol,.- .. GT & Diamondback Speed Momtaia Bikes) PAHRUMP VJM&EY TEMPORARY i LABOR SERVICE X+II+: 11 B +I+:IBI(;I: Denture Reline And Repair Call Joy+ Mom'ssey 727-4 De.,., G i