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Vulcan makes local progress with Zero Carbon lithium project

Vulcan Energy Resources’ proposed Zero Carbon Lithium project in Germany. Credit: File

Vulcan Energy is moving forward with its Zero Carbon lithium project in Germany after entering negotiations to acquire land to construct its geothermal renewable energy and lithium extraction plant (G-LEP).

The company has been in talks with the Landau City Council, which has now formally approved a decision to enter contractual negotiations to secure a site within the German town’s planned industrial park named “Am Messegelände Südost”.

The G-LEP construction is planned as part of the first phase of Vulcan’s Zero Carbon lithium project in the upper Rhine Valley brine field. Management has already secured a site at Frankfurt Hoechst for its central lithium plant (CLP), in addition to land for the main brine production sites.

Germany’s State Mining Directorate has approved the first main operating plan for Vulcan’s newly-planned wells in its Insheim license, in the same phase-one project area where the company is already operating commercial geothermal wells and a plant.

We have worked closely with local stakeholders to progress our Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project plans. Our hard work is paying off, with positive decisions for the Project provided by the Landau City Council and the surrounding planned Phase One project locations. Vulcan Energy Resources managing director and chief executive officer Cris Moreno

The company aims to produce clean geothermal power for its own use and for sale into the market, in addition to producing lithium hydroxide. Vulcan’s model seeks to extract the sought-after battery metal from its lithium-laden hot brines percolating deep below in the picturesque Upper Rhine Valley that extends across France, Germany and Switzerland.

While more than 60 per cent of global lithium production is sourced from such brines, Vulcan says the heat at which these brines bubble to the surface is capable of generating power, courtesy of standard geothermal technology, with zero carbon emissions. After extraction of geothermal energy and lithium, the brine is reinjected back into the bedrock to make a closed-loop process, with minimal impact on the surrounding environment.

The latest progress with the Zero Carbon lithium project follows several positive steps by local authorities including the State Mining Directorate, based in the Freiburg Regional Council, extending the company’s exploration permit in the “Ortenau II” exploration field until the end of 2025.

The Neustadt City Council has also approved and requested that the Lord Mayor and administration should negotiate the development of planned deep geothermal projects with the company in respect of the city’s climate protection targets and security of supply. Vulcan currently holds the exploration rights for deep geothermal energy in Neustadt.

With the world’s focus on zero-carbon energy production, Vulcan has uniquely positioned itself to potentially become a major supplier of key battery components without the additional overhead of energy costs. In fact, it looks as if the company will be able to offset additional costs by selling off excess energy into the local grid.

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