Vulcan heats up with Ortenau boost

GERMANY-focused lithium brine player Vulcan Energy Resources’ ongoing efforts to de-risk its Vulcan Zero Carbon project ambitions has taken another critical step forward, with its third resource update in five months.
Vulcan heats up with Ortenau boost Vulcan heats up with Ortenau boost Vulcan heats up with Ortenau boost Vulcan heats up with Ortenau boost Vulcan heats up with Ortenau boost

Vulcan is building a sizeable resource in Germany

Haydn Black

Reporter

Following updates for the Taro joint venture exploration licence in August and November, the company has completed an interpretation of seismic and well data for its larger Ortenau area, delivering an updated and reclassified indicated resource of 2.06 million tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent grading 181 milligrams per litre.
 
It's a 131% increase in total indicated resources for the project, and means 23% of the 15.85Mt LCE total resource is now in the higher confidence indicated category.
 
Ortenau has total resources of 10.8Mt at 191mg/L, while Taro has a maiden indicated resource of 830,000t, with an inferred 1.44Mt, both at 181mg/L.
 
The numbers will feed into a prefeasibility study that is "approaching completion", and is now targeted for release in early 2021.
 
The PFS builds on an earlier scoping study, and could lead to first production as early as 2022-23. 
 
Vulcan continues to boast its lithium resource is the largest in Europe, and perfectly positioned to deliver lithium chemicals into the European Union.
 
"The European Commission regulations announced last week, setting limits on CO2 footprints for lithium-ion battery production in Europe places Vulcan in the prime position to be a lithium supplier of choice for the European market," managing director Dr Francis Wedin said.
 
The wider Vulcan project, located in the Upper Rhine Valley, is located at the heart of the European auto and lithium-ion battery manufacturing industry, and spans the 100%-owned Mannheim and Ortenau licences, and two earn-in areas with local geothermal energy companies, including Taro, plus a number of application areas.
 
Vulcan says its project has none of the downsides of traditional brine or hard rock lithium operations.
 
It has been able to recover brines from the Upper Rhine Graben and complete bench-scale lithium extraction test work to recover lithium, with recoveries over 90%. 
 
Vulcan shares, which have traded as low as 12c this year, were up 1.5% today to $2.67, but hit an all-time record of $2.91 earlier in the session.