Vulcan brine sample features high grade lithium with low impurities

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Mar 10, 2021, in Technology

Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL) has received promising sample results from a recently drilled geothermal well in the Upper Rhine Valley within 6 kilometres of Vulcan’s Ortenau Resource area.

The bulk brine sample returned a high grade of 214 mg/L lithium and will be used in Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) piloting test work.

This builds on historical brine data going as far back as 1980 that shows extremely consistent lithium values in Upper Rhine Valley brine.

The brine analysis also showed exceptionally low impurities (including Si, Mn, Fe) relative to other high-lithium geothermal brines worldwide, an important factor in terms of direct lithium extraction performance.

Within the Ortenau Licence, Vulcan currently has an Inferred and Indicated JORC Resource Estimation of 12.86 million tonnes contained Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) at a grade of 181 mg/L lithium, and has a total project Inferred and Indicated Resource of 15.85 million tonnes contained LCE at a grade of 181 mg/L lithium, the largest lithium resource in Europe.

New data will be incorporated into Vulcan’s resource estimation update work later in the year, as part of Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) work for the Vulcan Zero Carbon Lithium® project.

In highlighting the significance of this development in terms of progressing the upcoming DFS and the production process, Vulcan managing director Dr. Francis Wedin said, “It is encouraging to observe high grade lithium, with exceptionally low impurities, in geothermal brine analysis such as this from our brine sampling efforts in the URVP.

"The low impurities are important as this increases the effectiveness of our Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) techniques.

"Results of this nature will be combined with state-of-the-art seismic and historical drilling data, which will be used by our expert in-house geological team for resource and production study work towards the Vulcan Definitive Feasibility Study.

"This data collection and analysis is an important part of our strategy to become a major supplier of our unique Zero Carbon Lithium® to the European battery electric vehicle market.’’

DuPont, direct lithium extraction, DFS - it’s all coming together

This news comes just three weeks after Vulcan negotiated a collaborative agreement with DuPont Water Solutions, a leader in water filtration and purification.

The agreement facilitates the testing and scale-up Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) solutions for Vulcan’s world-first Zero Carbon Lithium® extraction process.

DuPont will leverage its portfolio of proprietary Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) products to assist Vulcan with input and test-work during Vulcan’s DFS for the Zero Carbon Lithium® Project.

This is further evidence of management’s unwavering march towards Zero Carbon Lithium® production, a factor that is reflected in the company’s share price performance over the last 12 months, and it is worth noting that yesterday’s close represents a year-on-year increase of 2700%.

It should also be remembered that the company is in a strong financial position with cash of $120 million to provide ongoing funding support.

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