Resources are deposits that cannot be operated at a given time from an economic and technical point of view. Usually, resources are classified in three groups depending on the geological state of knowledge; inferred, indicated, and measured resources. Identified lithium global resources have increased remarkably in recent years owing to on-going exploration and are currently approximately 86 million tons in total and about 2.7 million tons for Germany (U.S. Geological Survey, 2021).
Reserves, on the other hand, represent the amount of an already developed raw material that can be economically extracted with the currently available technical technologies. It is often divided into two groups: the probable reserve and the assured reserve. The reserve is generally calculated by a mining company according to certain standards (e.g., JORC) and confirmed by an independent expert. Due to its dependence on the economic and technical situation, the reserve is a variable that only permits limited statements on raw material availability. There is currently no information on lithium reserves for the Upper Rhine Graben. The joint UnLimited project therefore aims at minimizing this knowledge gap.