Vulcan Energy Resources on track at Zero

Renewable energy producer and carbon neutral lithium developer Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX: VUL) continues to make significant progress developing its Zero Carbon Lithium Project in the Upper Rhine Valley Brine Field (URVBF), Germany.

Strategically placed in the heart of the European electric vehicle market to decarbonise the supply chain, Vulcan is rapidly advancing the project to target timely market entry, with the ability to expand to meet the unprecedented demand that is building in the European markets.

The $574 million market capitalisation company reports the project’s phase one bridging study is 80% complete and on track for October completion. The study is being completed together with Hatch, which also completed the Prefeasibility Study (PFS) and Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).

Vulcan reports several key value improvements not included in the DFS from February have been identified, including driving further economies of scale through reduction of the planned two Lithium Extraction Plants (LEPs) and two geothermal power plants, to one central LEP and geothermal power plant with 24,000tpa lithium hydroxide equivalent capacity.

The project’s phase one bridging study is 80% complete and on track for October completion

The bridging study is maturing the current key deliverables and engineering definition to target a Class 2 estimate and Level 3 schedule. Vulcan says these deliverables will be further validated by key potential EPCM contractors for the phase one project execution.

As part of the study, the revised Field Development Plant (FDP) is approaching conclusion, targeting increased production from the core, proven area around Vulcan’s current production/re-injection wells. A revised resource/reserve update is due in September as part of this revised FDP.

Vulcan says it has already defined Europe’s largest lithium resource within its Zero Carbon Lithium Project area.

Meanwhile, the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) towards debt financing lender requirements is progressing on track with ERM and is due for completion in October.

The company reports that the main land packages have also been secured for core phase one production areas, with final key land package for LEP currently under negotiation and is expected to conclude in November.

Building permits have now been received for the Central Lithium Electrolysis Optimisation Plant (CLEOP) at the Frankfurt Hoechst chemical park.

Vulcan says site preparation works are in progress and the start of commissioning is targeted for Q4 2023.

The Lithium Extraction Optimisation Plant (LEOP) is already in the commissioning phase, which Vulcan says is targeted for completion in October.

Founded in 2018, Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium Project aims to decarbonise lithium production, through developing the world’s first net carbon neutral lithium business, with the co-production of renewable geothermal energy on a mass scale.

By adapting existing technologies to efficiently extract lithium from geothermal brine, Vulcan aims to deliver a local source of sustainable lithium for Europe, built around a net zero carbon strategy with exclusion of fossil fuels.

Already an operational renewable energy producer, Vulcan will also provide renewable electricity and heat to local communities. The company’s combined geothermal energy and lithium resource is touted as the largest in Europe, with license areas focused on the Upper Rhine Valley in Germany.

Vulcan says that unlike current lithium extraction projects, its Zero Carbon Lithium business will incur virtually zero disruption to communities or the environment. This means no large open pit mines, no ‘unsightly’ and water-hungry evaporation ponds, or process plants running on fossil fuels.

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Images: Vulcan Energy Resources
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Written By Adam Orlando Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.