Vulcan Energy expands geothermal lithium business to France

Vulcan Energy expands geothermal lithium business to France Haguenau, France (source: Patrick Nouhailler / flickr, Creative Commons)
Carlo Cariaga 2 Nov 2022

Vulcan Energy has commenced the expansion of their Zero Carbon Lithium to France with the creation of Vulcan Energie France and license application to the Les Cigognes region.

Vulcan Energy Resources Limited has announced the start of a number of initiatives that will expands it Zero Carbon Lithium business into France and specifically Alsace, a natural extension of the Upper Rhine Valley Geothermal-Lithium Brine Field.

The expansion area accounts for about one-third of the Upper Rhine Graben which is known to contain both geothermal energy and lithium-rich brine. To this end, Vulcan has created a French entity, Vulcan Energie France SAS (VEF), registered in Strasbourg with offices in Haguenau, where Vulcan is growing an experienced French team.

VEF has applied for its first lithium exploration license in the region, “Les Cigognes”. The requested license is 155km² in size and located East of the city of Haguenau. The Company will look to access additional license areas in the near future.

Vulcan had previously collected a bulk (10,000 litres) brine sample from the French side of the border and conducted test work on it. The sample returned a high grade of 214 mg/L Li and low impurities (inc. Si, Mn, Fe). Historical data and sampling coming from existing geothermal operations in the region indicate brine composition in Alsace is materially the same as the brine composition across the border at Vulcan’s operations in Germany, meaning Vulcan’s sustainable lithium production process is applicable across the whole field

VEF is also in discussions with local companies in Alsace to develop combined geothermal energy and lithium projects, and also to support industrials and municipalities to decarbonise their heating supply. The Company is focused on increasing engagement with local stakeholders to develop projects in full alignment with local communities, which is paramount to the ongoing success of Vulcan’s activities.

Vulcan already has a strong connection to the French market with France’s largest automakers Renault and Peugeot-Citroen (part of Stellantis, who is also Vulcan’s second shareholder) as lithium chemicals customers, and BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, advising on financing. BNP Paribas is also an investor in the Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project under its BNPP Energy Transition Fund.

Lithium production is strategically critical for France’s automotive industry, as Emmanuel Macron, President of France stated in October this year: “We need to work across the entire supply chain. We have lithium resources in France and we will develop them thanks to a new mining code; it is key for our sovereignty.”

“Vulcan is aiming to increase the future supply of our sustainable lithium product in response to significant customer demand, as we leverage our extensive experience in lithium extraction from heated brines to have a materially decarbonising effect on global electric vehicle supply chains. An extension of our core operating area, the Upper Rhine Valley Brine Field, expanding into France is a natural next step for Vulcan as we can apply the same expertise and technology to extract lithium sustainably. We look forward to supporting our French customers and working with local communities and companies to decarbonise their energy mix.” said Vulcan Chief Commercial Officer Vincent Ledoux-Pedaille.

Source: Vulcan Energy via Twitter