New resource estimates significantly expand size of Vulcan Energy’s German lithium project

Vulcan Energy ASX VUL German lithium project Upper Rhine Valley

Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX: VUL) has unveiled an updated indicated and inferred lithium-brine resource estimation for its Taro exploration licence in Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley.

The indicated resource now sits at 0.83 million tonnes contained lithium carbon equivalent at a grade of 181 milligrams per litre lithium, while the inferred is 1.44Mt contained LCE at 181mg/l lithium.

Vulcan has also re-totalled the collective mineral resource estimation for the Upper Rhine Valley project area which makes up its zero carbon lithium project.

That estimation now sits at 16.19Mt LCE grading 181mg/l lithium, 90% of which is in the inferred category.

The new figures make Vulcan’s project the largest JORC lithium resource in Europe, giving the company significant potential to become a major supplier of lithium chemicals into that market.

Taro is currently being integrated into a pre-feasibility study for the project, which is centred on the production of the lowest possible carbon dioxide-equivalent footprint lithium hydroxide for the global electric vehicle industry.

Project potential

Managing Director Dr Francis Wedin said the updated figures demonstrate the project’s potential.

“Using our recently-acquired seismic data to advance the 3D geological model, and well data to advance fault zone hydro-dynamics, we are pleased to have upgraded a significant portion of the [indicated and inferred] resource at Taro,” he said.

“This higher confidence resource area is being integrated into our pre-feasibility study, which is on schedule for completion, [and] is in line with our strategy to become a supplier of unique zero carbon lithium hydroxide into Europe.”

Taro licence

The Taro licence was granted in August to Global Geothermal Holding UG, with which Vulcan has an agreement to earn 51% equity by spending approximately $800,000 on exploration within two years.

The company has met this initial expenditure requirement, allowing for a joint venture to be formed, with Vulcan owning 51% and Global Geothermal 49%.

Vulcan has agreed to spend a further $800,000 over two years to earn an additional 29% (second earn-in expenditure) and boost its total interest to 80%.

Global Geothermal can then elect to co-fund the project on a pro-rata basis or be diluted by an industry-standard formula while Vulcan continues to develop the project.

World’s first producer

Vulcan is aiming to become the world’s first producer of zero carbon lithium by generating a battery-quality lithium hydroxide chemical product with net zero carbon footprint from its combined geothermal and lithium resource.

The company plans to employ a unique process to produce renewable geothermal energy and lithium hydroxide from the same deep brine source.

In doing so, it believes it will fix current problems for Europe’s lithium market – namely, a very high carbon and water footprint of production; and total reliance on imports, mostly from China.

Dr Wedin said the project’s resource could satisfy Europe’s needs for the electric vehicle transition, from a zero-carbon source, for years to come.

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