Lithium exploration permit sought by Fonroche Géothermie in Bas-Rhin, France

Lithium exploration permit sought by Fonroche Géothermie in Bas-Rhin, France Drilling rig on site of Vendenheim project, Alsace/ France (source: Fonroche)
Alexander Richter 5 Oct 2020

Following the application for a Lithium exploration permit by Fonroche Geothermie for the Bas-Rhin area in France, an open consultation process has been started.

The Government of France has opened a consultation process on the application for an exclusive exploration permit for lithium mines and related substances known as the “Rhine plain permit” in the Bas-Rhin department, presented by the company Fonroche Géothermie.

Consultation period

The period may not be less than fifteen days from the date of provision (third paragraph of II of article L. 123-19-2 of the environment code).

from October 5, 2020 to October 19, 2020 inclusive


Fonroche Géothermie has applied for an exclusive exploration permit for lithium mines and related substances known as the “Rhine Plain Permit”. This request aims to allow geothermal lithium research within the perimeter of the high temperature geothermal license known as “Strasbourg”, held by the company Fonroche Géothermie. The area of ??this permit is approximately 554 km², located in the Bas-Rhin department.

The requested duration is 5 years.

An exclusive exploration permit (PER) grants the petitioner an exclusive research right over a certain perimeter but does not constitute authorization to carry out mining work. To be authorized, this work must subsequently be the subject of a procedure with impact study, public and administrative inquiries and, where applicable, the prefectural authorization order.

In Alsace, and specifically in this case, the search for lithium is closely linked to geothermal activity since it is in geothermal water that lithium is found. The purpose of the request is to ensure the economic profitability and the sustainability of the geothermal activity by pooling the drilling costs through the use of the same wells for both activities (heat and lithium extraction).

This consultation is a mandatory step in the procedure for examining an application for an exclusive research permit. It is carried out in application of the principle of public participation in decisions having an impact on the environment provided for in Article 7 of the Environmental Charter. Articles L. 123-19-7 and L. 123-19-2 of the Environment Code provide for the application of this principle to decisions relating to requests for exclusive research permits. However, this step does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

The exclusive exploration permit and the conditions for its allocation are defined in Articles L. 122-1 et seq. Of the Mining Code.

The application file is therefore made available to the public, electronically, on this site.

The Fonroche Géothermie company registered under SIREN number 529 770 646 in the Agen trade and companies register, whose head office is located in ZAC des champs de Lescaze, 47 310 Roquefort, was created in 2011. Its share capital is of EUR 3,210,000.

For the full 12 documents provided under the consultation, see link to the official announcement (in French), below.

How to participate ?

Participate in this consultation by sending your comments by email to the following address:

Source: Announcement of Consultation Period, Government of France